I got a wild hair the other morning and loaded the kids into the car and set out to good old Crap E. Cheese for some good old air-conditioned kiddie fun.
When I take the kids to the mouse house, I go as soon as the doors open at 9 a.m. Over time I have learned that by going then we avoid all other germy children, there is always a place to sit, and there are 10-20 tickets hanging from each ride and game after being turned on for the day. Not that day. Everyone in Houston apparently discovered my Cheese secret as it was as crowded at 9 a.m. on a Tuesday as it ever is at 12 p.m. on a Saturday. I was fuming. Early morning was MY time, but against my better judgement, we went on in because, really, who wants to take two bug-eyed, game-loving boys up to the door of goodness only to deny them at the last minute. No, definitely not me. So we go in and the boys immediately run away from me, token cups in hot little hands, and I proceed to wander around the tight spaces smacking teenagers in the ankles with my baby in the stroller trying desperately to locate my lost boys. Well, they weren't really lost, what with those big invisible stickers on their arms preventing their escape, but still, a mama likes to know where her kids are, am I right? Jacob found a new friend who happened to belong to the only other stroller toting woman in the place and I immediately track her down and proceed to follow her around because, hey, I'm lonely and thriving some adult conversation. She was a nice lady and I instantly decide we can be friends because a. she has lots of kids ( more than me even ), b. she has a stroller that I would kill for, and c. because of a and b, we must have loads in common and did I mention she was an adult?
So, the boys are having a ball playing video games and gambling for tickets when their sister awakes from her car-induced slumber with "the signal" that is sticking out her tongue and foaming like a rabid dog, which means "Mommy, I am really wanting to eat now" Now, I knew she would want to eat while we were there, but I totally thought we would be there alone so no big deal. I did not anticipate the throngs of arcade junkies so early in the morning, so I tried the pappy, tried smiling and saying "You're okay" because, yeah, that makes it okay, and even feigned ignorance, like, oh, are you crying? Nothing worked. I mentioned to my new BFF that my daughter was giving me "the look" and that I really didn't want to nurse there and secretly I was hoping she would say, "Why, I'll look after your sweet boys while you feed your baby in the car", but, well, we had only just met and I guess it would be wrong of me to trust the children I have known for years with a woman I have only known for twenty minutes, also, it was freaking hot outside! We're in the middle of a heat wave, remember? My nice new friend did say that she nurses there all the time and it was no big deal so I knew I would have to whip out the b**bs in that germ-laden paradise. I tracked down Adam, bought him the biggest ice cream sandwich known to mankind so to lure him with me, found the farthest booth, positioned myself facing the wall, and fed my baby. Being back in the corner as we were, there was no way in the world anyone other than a two foot nosy person would be able to know what was going on. Naturally, a two foot little someone trotted right on over and planted himself directly under my arm pit. I like to think it was the massive ice cream that drew him to us, so far away, but his mama had a different take on it. His mama and her three flouncy skirt wearing, espedrille sporting friends then parked themselves ten feet behind me and loudly discussed how "that woman" was "exposing herself" to her son. "Can you believe that?" one said and the other said, "In a restaurant of all places" and another said "Take your private business elsewhere, puhlease" Of course, none of them had the balls to come up and say any of it to my face and I was just too stunned and afraid of causing a scene to turn around and inform them that I have the right to feed my baby wherever I choose and to move away if they didn't like it. I just continued feeding my sweet baby while red skirted lady's son still hung out at our table with no attempts by her to retract him. I guess she was too scared of what she would see, so scarring her son for life was the only option. That was the first, and last, time I have nursed in public. Why are some mothers like that? Thank goodness I found cool stroller friend though. If only I had thought to get her name and phone number before they left. And I wonder why I have no friends.
And really, who considers Ch*ck E. Ch**se a restaurant?
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