how to grow up the right way.

19 Jan

Growing up in a restaurant can be really confusing. Not just for those involved, but also for those observing. I mean, I think nothing of my barefoot daughter running through the dining room pushing a hard boiled egg with a broom. And I giggle over the fact that Austin likes to veg out on the floor of our party room on Saturday night building lego motor homes while he watches Spaceballs on the TV usually reserved for rehearsal dinner slideshows. Probably if you walked in the door you’d be like “What the fuck?” but not me! I’m proud to be a second generation Restarant Parent. I was the child who emerged from the kitchen on a busy Saturday night to inform my mom while she was trying to seat a table that my brother hit me because I wouldn’t let him play with the pizza dough. I was the child who named lobsters as they got delivered by the seafood company. (If you still think I have to post Part 2 of “why I have {pretty much} no friends,” raise your hand.)

This evening I took Austin and Riley to visit their dad at work. Sometimes Harry chefs at the “other” restaurant, also known as my mom’s restaurant. We call it this because my mom is the only one who really ever goes there. It’s not that we don’t care, but you know how it is with older siblings. Sometimes they just get left to fend for themselves because the baby is really needy and so darn cute. Plus Mom’s is a schlep and a half, and gas doesn’t grow on trees! But Harry goes there to check up on things and keep the minions in line. Also to catch up on the latest iPhone apps and upcoming concerts.

We haven’t eaten at Mom’s in quite awhile, and I have to say the meal was pretty darn good. Our waiter attempted to be on his A game due to my flourishing blog (he purposely forgot my steak knife so I would be FORCED to write about him, but I’m not going to give him that satisfaction). We received entertaining visits at least every thirty seconds from some member of the staff. We took up no less than 4 tables and 12 seats even though there were only 4 of us (hey, Riley felt like spreading her toys out, and  Austin needed his room to concentrate on homework, ok?). Harry sat down with us, and even though I know what his hair looks like when he wakes up in the morning, I felt really fucking cool having the chef sit at our table and hold my kid. And Austin probably felt pretty cool when he asked Harry for a refill on his drink and Harry said “Go get it yourself.” I mean, how many 8 year olds get superstar treatment like that?

 Being a customer at my own restaurant makes me feel the way some of you probably feel about your dining room – like I’m at home. Only my dining room is like WAY bigger than your dining room, and you probably don’t have to drive anywhere after you finish your dinner in order to go to sleep.

I can’t help but feel like my children are going to grow up with all these twisted notions, so here is what I hope they someday come to learn:

  • Normal people butter does not come in a 1 pound block.
  • Not every cook in every kitchen in every restaurant is required to say hello to you, so don’t get insulted if they ignore you.
  • If you go out to dinner, you should pay.
  • The only person in our family who can wear a hat in a restaurant is your daddy, because that’s part of his uniform.
  • Soft shell crabs do not make good pets.

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