I’m one of those mean mothers who doesn’t give her kids candy or chocolate or ice cream or chocolate milk. My husband laughs at me over this all the time. I’m not against these things in principle. Really, it’s just that I’d prefer the babies eat something good for them than not, and I’d rather them not even know about the sweet junkie stuff. They can’t ask for what they don’t know about, right?
Sometimes, though, on special occasions, the twins do get a treat. The last dinner we had with Nana and Pop-pop at the beach was one of those times. We sat outside toward the front of the restaurant. We had a nice view of the sea. The waitress was prompt and nice, both imperatives when you’re eating out with babies.
Our dinner had been slightly delayed because we had to pack all our belongings into the car before we could set off. The babies were hungry.
“Eat, eat!” they said. “Nomnomnomnom!” (I’m always amazed at their ability to communicate.)
As we were settling in at the restaurant, I ordered the babies two chocolate milks, which came almost immediately. The babies loved them, guzzled them down. As our food began to arrive, they began to run out of milk. Perfect timing, I thought. I ordered them water so they could eat their incredibly nutritious chicken fingers and fries without totally filling up on milk first.
The water came. My husband said, “Oh, they’re not going to want water after chocolate milk. Are you serious?”
But I was serious. It was time for water. The babies grabbed their new drinks. They took a sip. Dulce put her cup down and pulled back, giving it a disgusted look. She then looked up at the waitress who was standing nearby. She grabbed her empty cup of chocolate milk. She handed it to the waitress and stared at her. The waitress laughed.
And, since Dulce had placed her first order, I allowed her veto of my drink choice. The babies had seconds of chocolate milk. They were even on the house, so impressed was the waitress at baby’s first restaurant order.
But their cognizance didn’t end there. As we were readying to pay the check, Dulce looked at my mother. We had said nothing of leaving or ending the vacation in any way. We had given, I thought, no indication that this was to be the last night.
Dulce looked at my mother.
“No bye bye, Nana, no bye bye.”
I think everybody’s heart broke. It’s impossible to explain to a two year old that she’ll see Nana in two months for Christmas.
It was with laughter and sadness we hit the road and headed for home. Isn’t it always?