About a week ago my parents and daughter met me for lunch at Olive Garden. Since they watch Cardin during the day, they occasionally bring her out to see me for lunch. My dad had some time off for the holidays and before he started working again he was offering up soup, salad, and breadsticks. How do you refuse a good Olive Garden Breadstick?
Even still, I was hesitant. We’ve had “incidents” of the bodily fluid type at Olive Garden before and I was in no mood for an encore. My dad, who is referred to as POPPA, assured me it would be fine. LIAR. EAT YOUR WORDS. Last time I ever listen to his advice.
As we settled into the booth, I got the booster seat ready for my daughter. See….we bring our own as it has a tray you can attach to the front. This has nothing to do with my OCD about sanitation. We bring our own for puke catching purposes as the tray provides an adequate splash zone area. This was vital as before our food had even arrived we had experienced not one, but two of Cardin’s deadly man burps. TWO.
I refer to them as man burps because they are so violently loud you would think that a 45 year old, beer drinker was sitting at your side, when in fact it’s just a toddler. Listen Lady, I’m certain you still don’t appreciate the velocity at which these burps are released. Let me assure you, people at other tables hear them in noisy restaurants and turn their heads. In fact the waiter just happened to be asking us a question when, from the depths of her soul Cardin released the second man burp. He was so caught off guard, he actually stopped mid-sentence and said “WHOA”.
I figure if this trend continues, my hair will have turned completely gray from the anxiety these outbursts cause. When they occur you freeze, as though you were a deer in headlights, just waiting to be pummeled by the oncoming car.
We got our food and Cardin was not really interested in eating her spaghetti, though I did force some in her mouth when she entered a trance-like state watching Dora. Just as she was finishing her lunch, she let roar with another of the deadly man burps. Inevitably, the burp was followed by the resurgence of her spaghetti and cantaloupe. THIS IS WHY I BRING A BOOSTER SEAT TO RESTAURANTS.
I was able to salvage Cardin’s clothes, but the tray was overflowing. Since my dad claimed that we would have no incidents at lunch, his punishment was to remove the tray of vomit and carry it through the restaurant so that it could be disposed of in the restroom. We commonly refer to this as the walk of shame.
As a side, before I left for lunch, I was wearing two shirts; a t-shirt and a sweater. I decided, for safety purposes, to remove the sweater and just attend lunch with the t-shirt. My hunch was right as I was unable to avoid the splash zone this time around. Good thing I’m a pessimist and have no faith in my daughter’s ability to have one calm, upchuck free restaurant meal.
At the end of the saga I was more than ready to leave Olive Garden and head for more barren land. I informed my offspring that we will not be going out to a public venue again until she reaches the age of 10.