We are at Dave & Busters for Full Speed’s official birthday celebration. We have an assortment of family and friends and the air is filled with happy sounds. We have bravely placed all the kids ranging in age from 2 through 13 at one table. My friend, who is also the Mom of two boys, quickly surveys the table for possible weapons and promptly removes all the knives from the place settings. It’s like watching a combustible science experiment as the kids clamor about each trying to talk louder than their neighbor. They are clearly having a blast.
My friends with their two month old and three year old daughters arrive soon after everyone has placed their orders. Therefore, as a majority of the party is finishing up their food, these friends still have food left to eat. Since I remember what it’s like having a new baby (barely, believe me, I have purposefully blocked a majority of it out) I plan to linger and hold the baby so my friend can finish her food. She didn’t ask me because she’s a Mom and Moms never ask for help. I do it because I want to. I remember how all I wanted in the world when my boys were tiny was a chance to eat my food in peace. I still haven’t achieved that level of nirvana yet (my boys can still be rather high maintenance at restaurants). I’m a lot closer than I used to be. I have hope.
Mad Dog grabs Full Speed and heads towards the gaming area of Dave & Buster’s with the group. He looks at me holding the teeny, tiny baby and says, “Who’s got T.Puzzle?” I know he means for someone to watch him because he clearly wants to play man-to-man defense with the boys. However, I’m holding a baby, give me a freakin’ minute!
Eventually, Mad Dog pawns T.Puzzle off on Grandma (I know she doesn’t mind in the least). As they depart, my friend and I marvel at how men are conditioned to only watch one child at a time. That is so not an option for Moms. We’ve got all kids all the time. Unless of course tomorrow I decide I’m only going to care for one boy at a time.
It might go something like this. I would say, “Go get Mommy a quarter, Full Speed. It’s time to decide who Mommy watches today. Heads or Tails?”