After spending 3/4 of our day Sunday playing outside, we decided to skip cooking dinner and go eat some yummy catfish. It seemed like a great idea. The kids were in a good mood. Despite the fact that we were all filthy and pink from the sun, Travis and I figured "Why not?".
(When I say filthy, I am talking stinky, sweaty kids and a Mommy who didn't wash her hair that morning...Eww!)
We headed to Fayetteville to Catfish Hole. We love that place, but rarely go because it's "all the way in Fayetteville". Since we decided spur of the moment to jump in the car and go, we didn't have any electronics (read: entertainment for the kids) or Catherine's baby.
It was pretty early for dinner, so I figured we could slip in and slip out unnoticed and SURELY wouldn't see anyone we knew. We were seated and they immediately brought us the "fixins" (hushpuppies and coleslaw). I am not sure if that do that for everyone or if they heard Catherine saying "EAT! EEEEEAAAT!" from the moment we walked in the door. Either way, it was something to hold her over until the fish arrived.
The hushpuppies they brought were hot. So, I reached over to Catherine's plate and broke her's in half to help it cool faster. BIG MISTAKE!
It was at this moment things fell apart. Catherine melted into a limp, SCREAMING noodle. She went bizerk yelling "BOOOKE! IT BOOOOKE! (broke)! I tried giving her another hushpuppy, but she wanted THAT one! She slid down in the booth, onto the floor under the table and pitched the biggest fit I have ever seen. She was a kicking, screaming, snotty mess right under our table.
(so much for getting in and out unnoticed)
For a minute, I thought about ignoring her until she stopped. But, then, people started looking. We were beside a couple with one kid, who was happily sitting in his highchair eating his broken hushpuppies.
(remember how good your first kid was? And, how when you saw a child acting like mine, you would whisper to your husband "Our kids will NEVER do that"? Yeah. Me too. Call me when you have another one or two and let me know how that works out for ya!)
To keep from ruining everyone's dinner, I picked her up and carried her out while she was screaming "NOOOOO!" (If the hostess hadn't seen me walk in with her, she would probably think I was kidnapping her!). Catherine and I went to the car. As I was trying to put her in the car, she went from a limp noodle to a spider monkey. She was literally climbing my face trying to keep from being put in the car. After fighting her for about 3 mintues, I finally got her in and closed the door (both of us in the backseat...I was sitting in Hannah's booster seat, sweating with my hair sticking up everywhere.)
I sat there listening to my child have a melt down until she finally gathered herself. I was trying to figure out what I could take in with me to keep her from going nutso again. (remember: we didn't bring a THING with us in the car). I found a notebook and pen, gave it to Catherine and we headed back inside.
The minute I walked in, I saw some friends of mine (who luckily have three kids and probably understand the insanity that had just occurred). I stopped to talk, but was so mortified and self absorbed, I didn't even use good manners and barely spoke (sorry, Matt and Angela!).
We got back to the table and I ate one piece of fish. After I got that down, I breathed a sigh of relief thinking we were going to make it through dinner. At that exact moment, Catherine spotted the broken hushpuppy and it apparently brought back bad memories. The meltdown started all over again!
I shoved another piece of fish in my face, grabbed her and RAN to the car! We sat out there until Travis and the other girls got done eating. While we were waiting, Catherine was screaming in the car and I was just sitting there tuning her out and listening to the radio.
(Cruel to ignore your child, I know. But, I had to keep my sanity because I was about to lose it!)
Ready for the best part of the story?
We pulled into our garage after the dinner from hell. I went to get Catherine out of her carseat and she pointed at me and said "Mama MEAN!". Then, pointed at herself and said "Niiiice. Goooo gurl. (good girl)". Um...can I get a YEAH RIGHT!?