5.02.2008

Fishbowl livin'...


My dear husband and I haven't been the sweetest to one another lately...so we decided to spend some time hanging out with the chil'rens' running some errands and going out for a picnic. But for some reason our picnic plans got derailed and we ended up at Hometown Buffet.

I hate Hometown Buffet.

But the chil'rens like it...its cheap...and I wanted to make them happy so we went. Normally, I am very picky about where we eat out because our money is tighter than my ass trying to squeeze into the Space Mountain ride at Disneylandia. So when we do go out I like to make it worth my while. I would have loved to go to Souplantation instead and got my clam chowder and chinese chicken salad on but I digress. The things we do for the love of the chil'rens.

It's been years since I've been to Hometown Buffet. Literally, years. I didn't remember so many old people eating there. They must have a really good senior discount because the old folk were rolling deep in that place.

We set the rules down...no getting up and down, no junk food and we had to start off with fruit/and or salad. The chil'rens were happy as pigs in a pile of mud, smiling and laughing and enjoying the smorgasbord of food.

Then I noticed these people sitting to the left of us. They kept staring at us. At first I thought, okay, maybe we are a little loud and rambunctious. Until I saw about five little brown kids running up and down the aisles squealing and grabbing food off the platters by themselves. Well, that can't be it. We aren't disturbing them. We would take turns getting up and helping the chil'rens with their plates...and they would stare. We would take them to the restroom...and they would stare. We laughed at Noah's version of a salad (croutons and ranch dressing)...and they would stare. Xixi spilled tea all over herself and the booth...and they would stare. It got to the point where we realized...they are just staring for the sake of staring. They didn't converse throughout their entire meal because all they did was stare at us.

And apparently we were the hit of that old folks joint because we were getting lots of stares. It's been a while since we've gotten so much attention, or maybe I've just zoned it out, but obviously a family with six kids is an interesting sight. If that is what interests you--how we function--than by all means strike up a conversation with us but geez, don't stare at us during the entire meal because it's kinda rude. Michael was starting to get a little uncomfortable and a little annoyed. And the funny thing is, we didn't even have all six with us! Diego was with his grandma and he is by far the most loud and obnoxious. I can only imagine what it would have been like had he been there with us. The fish bowl would have definitely been more interesting!

The waitress came by several times to ask us questions about the chil'rens. She was nice though, she didn't just stand there and stalk us. She even paid us the ultimate compliment, one that never ceases to make me cringe inside.

"Wow, you have so many kids and they are so well-behaved!"

Cough cough. Hold on, I'm choking on my salisbury steak and mashed potatoes from a box.

Seriously? I guess I cringe inside because as a mother, you tend to focus on the negative. I am focusing on Noah's obsessive complusive behavior and his fifteen trips to the pizza/french fries/jello counter like he was a starved man on a deserted island and this was his first meal. Or Solomon's goat-like habit of standing during his meal and me giving him the death ray stare so he would sit down. Maya laying down on the booth and eating her watermelon. Xixi using her hands to stuff her face with salad and yelling, "I WANT SOME MORE MAMA!". And Cyan...Cyan walking past the salad section on our way out and him plucking a cucumber and popping it in his mouth.

But I'll take the compliment when I can get it. The waitress also brought us some free meal coupons for the kids and that was really sweet. But I think I'll have to pass...or let Michael take them...because seriously, who eats salisbury steak anymore? And what the heck is it anyway? I looked it up. It's minced meat made to resemble a steak. WTH? That is so nasty!

But I'm still grateful that we got to eat out together...and that the chil'rens had a good time. I just wish my intestines had a good time along with everyone else. That's what I get for trying a minced meat patty.
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