So the other night we went out to dinner with a few friends.   Aurora with her 9 mos baby,  Mulan with 2 kiddos, 4 years and 18 mos old and Merida with 3 kiddos, 3 mos, 2 years, and 4 years.

I was there with my 4 kids and hubby.  I had a wonderful time.  I got to hold my friend’s 3 month old.  I ate some yummy food, chatted and enjoyed my friends’ company, and the children played happily with the tablets provided by Chili’s.
There were 10 kids and 4 adults, while my kids’ age ranges from 4 years old to 10 years.

One of the kiddos, Flynn, 18 months, while sitting on his mother’s lap, grabbed and threw everything in arm’s reach.  I could see the  look of exhaustion, and frustration on Mulan’s (Flynn’s Mom) face. I smiled and was reminded of the 1st time we had a hard restaurant experience with a  kiddo….

This happened about 9 years ago, when my oldest was about 14 mos old.

No object was safe near him, our food was taking FOREVER!, and I couldn’t keep his hands distracted! I was so frustrated, “I thought sitting here and trying to eat out with a 14 month old is completely stupid!”

I couldn’t believe the next thing that came out of my mouth.

“Uhhhhh just put your fingers in your nose!”

And he did! He stuck both index fingers into both nostrils!

To this day he always has a finger in his nose. My hubby jokes that I taught him to pick his nose.

This particular experience at Chili’s recently remin
ded me so vividly of the frustration that comes with trying to enjoy something my husband and I used to enjoy before kids! Yet, I can still picture this tiny person so beautifully messy, with fingers up his nose looking at me with amazing eyes. So tiny and perfect! Now, it’s one of my favorite moments!

And you know what? I continued to be crazy and kept taking him out to eat and with MORE kids.  Most dinners out we’d get home put kids to bed and think “Why do we keep doing this?” Then we pull out the leftovers….or (the food we didn’t get a chance to eat) curl up in bed and watch a movie in the blissful silence of our sleeping kiddos. Babyland, as I call it is a crazy beautiful mess.”

The hour at Chili’s seemed to go by quickly.  We paid our tab, helped our friends to their cars, and drove home.  It was a wonderful dinner, I look back and think about how fast my kids have truly grown-up.  I do miss moments of Babyland…