I have developed an incredible new superpower. I can see into the future. If I were one of the X-Men, this is what I would be called on to do to help save humanity from the evil mutants. Only problem is that I can only see about five minutes into the future, and only events that directly affect my 3 year old son.
Just this weekend, as we were having dinner out, I clearly saw several events that were going to happen, then they did happen, just as I had predicted.
And yes, we had dinner out!. I think this was maybe the first time we had been out with Mr. C for dinner by ourselves. We’ve gone out to restaurants with relatives, that doesn’t really count as there are a number of people who can take over toddler patrol. And going out for lunch doesn’t count either, since lunch is usually quick. Dinner is the big deal. You’re a big boy now, kind of outing with the parents. Let’s see if you can sit in a chair in an unfamiliar room, surrounded by people you don’t know, and be offered one course after another, instead of everything all at once. All this without the usual frequent interruptions for things like seeing if one of the cats might like to be chased for a few minutes before he finishes the broccoli.
As part of the future event prediction power, we had to prevent being placed in the ‘people with kids exile zone’. This is usually a table next to the kitchen door, or sometimes next to the bathroom doors. We had to arrive just as the restaurant opened for dinner, at 5:00pm. This way we are assured a table in an empty restaurant. Since noone wants to eat that early we would not have to wait for a table, which would cut into Mr. C’s attention span for the evening. And thankfully, we get a table in a prime location, with a window view of the street, plenty of things for Mr. C to look at to keep him occupied. My powers are working just fine so far!
This was a seafood restaurant with a Mediterranean menu, so lots of seafood stews, and pasta dishes with fish. They offer large portions, and they bring the meals to the table in the pan they were cooked in, usually a very hot pan. So the next thing I predicted is the need for a massive amount of space on the table. Mr. C has an endless interest in all the stuff on the table such as the salt and pepper shakers, flower vase, grated cheese and pepper flake containers. So one by one, I secretly placed them elsewhere, such as on the windowsill and on the table in back of us. This would both give us plenty of room for the pans, and cut down on the chance of a dropped and broken cheese shaker. And ‘secretly’, since Mr. C would demand to know where the salt shaker was that he was planning on emptying onto the table if he saw me remove it. My powers are working well, so far so good!
When we placed our orders, I thought I detected a hint of skepticism when we ordered the chicken and shrimp with pesto sauce for Mr. C. This could be a second X-Man power, I’m not sure yet, further testing is needed. There definitely was a look of surprise followed by a suppressed laugh. I imagine there’s not a lot of parents ordering a meal for a 3 year old that is completely covered in a green sauce. Instead of ordering from the kids menu, we’ve been ordering a regular meal for Mr. C. We thought that since he eats just about everything at home, why not order a regular meal when we go out ? Besides, we’ll bring home what he doesn’t eat. We also ordered lemonade for all of us.
After Mr. C was able to sit through the soup and salad courses, very patiently I might add, though with increasing tiredness. The waitress then brought over the meal. She told us that she transferred Mr. C’s meal onto a cold pan since it would be too hot to touch usually. Whew, I thought we’re dealing with a professional here, familiar with toddlers.
But then the lemonade was brought over by another server, a girl who looked like a teenager, and who probably had not had much experience with kids. A very large glass of lemonade was placed on the table in front of Mr. C.
‘I don’t like the looks of that lemonade glass’ I say, eyeing the large plastic tumbler sitting on the slick vinyl tablecloth, surrounded by plates and any number of other things that would easily knock over the glass. I think of asking for a smaller glass that we can pour some of the lemonade into as needed.
But I didn’t get a chance to ask, as Mr. C knocked it over fairly quickly. Lemonade spilled onto the table, floor, his lap, and into the chicken and shrimp with pesto.
‘Daddy called it!’ Ms. J said.
‘Yes, yes, I did’ I thought ‘My predictive powers are working tonight!’
After a quick mopping by the teenage drinks server, we went back to eating. Turns out that a little lemonade adds some tang to pesto, not too bad.
Mr. C ate it up, yummy yummy, he said of the crushed basil with garlic, olive oil and crushed walnuts over shrimp and chicken with added lemonade mixture.
‘Let this be a lesson to you, surly teen drink server!’ I thought, but did not get the chance to say as she mopped way the lemonade faster than I could get the chance to pass on this piece of advice.
If only I could expand my power of prediction beyond my immediate family, the X-Men would beg me to join up.
Leftover pesto for lunch the next day, mmmm! Lemony!