Generally in cafes and restaurants, when you’re eating with the little one, either everyone’s food will arrive at the same time or, to save frazzled nerves, if you’re lucky they will bring out little one’s food first.
I think there is an unwritten rule that the one thing you should avoid doing if you’re in the cafe game is to make a child wait for their food even a second longer than is absolutely necessary. If it’s undercooked, half missing or looks like shit, just get it on the table.
Today that unwritten rule was broken.
Having ordered our jacket spuds and a little person’s macaroni cheese, we sat down, strapped him in, and hoped for the best. All was going ‘smoothly’ as he sucked away at his bottle of mineral water (barely spilled a quarter of it – winner!) and we waited for the food. But then the unthinkable happened – our jacket spuds came, but the macaroni cheese did not.
To distract him, I cut up my mini tomatoes and he ate them all within a couple of minutes. Still no macaroni cheese. Balls.
He looked across at our meals with the kind of confusion and dismay normally only associated with looking in the fridge to find the last dessert has already been eaten. Or when you go to fill up his night time milk bottle to find that they all need washing. And sterilising. And putting back together. And cooling down.
After what must have been approaching 17 hours, the macaroni cheese finally arrived, accompanied by the sound that sends dread into all parents – ‘careful, it’s a little bit hot’.
What this tends to be code for is ‘you might want to cut it up, blow on it a bit and give him a biscuit first’. Today it was apparently code for ‘this meal was prepared in the very core of the Earth and will be ready for eating around his 18th birthday’. Double balls.
Once he’d seen the food he no longer had any interest in tomatoes, or salad, or water. But fortunately there was still the cheese from my tuna & cheese jacket potato – and cheese trumps everything. So as my tuna & cheese jacket turned slowly into my tuna jacket, the crisis was averted.
So as we gave ‘evils’ to the cafe staff on our way out, the day returned to normal, with Peppa and the Paw Patrol gang just twenty minutes away…