April 6, 2010

Carpe Diem!

One of the things I really miss about my life before babies is spontaneity. That, and eating out on a regular basis. So, imagine my delight when I got to do both of those things this past weekend--and enjoy most first sushi meal since becoming pregnant!

The trick, I have discovered, to being spontaneous and eating out post-parenthood is learning to seize the day, to be watchful for fleeting opportunities and pounce on them before they can flit by. This past Saturday I had planned what I thought was an exciting--if not exactly spontaneous--morning out: our regular trip to the Farmers' Market, followed by a quick stop at the corner bookstore to play with the train set, then a nice brunch in which Colin does not throw all of his food on the floor, and all before my company Easter egg hunt at 1:00 p.m. Well, if the best laid plans often go awry, then that goes doubly so when you have children.

Such an outing--an elaborate one, I'll grant you--would normally take us about six hours. But on this particular morning, we didn't manage to get out of the house until 11:00 a.m., and by then, Colin was already getting hungry and cranky. Realizing that nothing throws a monkey wrench into plans faster than a hungry child, I scrapped everything and hollered for Kevin to stop the car at the first restaurant we passed: as chance would have it, a very upscale sushi restaurant that we used to frequent before we had kids.

Now, normally I would never entertain the idea of taking my food-throwing toddler to an upscale restaurant, but it was 11:00 a.m. on a Saturday, and we were literally the only patrons in the restaurant. As such, we got one of the exclusive private rooms, where you sit on the floor at low tables--the perfect set-up, it turns out, for babies. Since there was no remarkable height from which to watch his food fall to the floor, Colin was no longer interested in throwing it.

And despite what you may think, there are actually lots of things in a sushi restaurant that toddler is willing to eat. Raw fish might be off limits, but rice is always a winner, the miso soup was a surprise hit, and vegetables deep fried in a light batter might be the only vegetables my son ever graciously consents to eating. Most surprising of all: Colin adored the chops sticks--and sticking them everywhere: up noses, and in ears ... I mean, everywhere.

But we made it through an entire meal without any major spills, messes, or tantrums. Mama got to enjoy sushi for the first time in two years, and we made it to the Easter egg hung with full bellies and time to spare. In the end, it was a better day than any I could have planned. I guess, life with babies can be pretty spontaneous after all.

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