Sunday, February 20, 2005

Metaphor for Parenthood

Last weekend we made an impromptu trip to a nearby Japanese Steak House. No one felt like cooking and it's one of my daughter's favorite places. She calls it "cooking by me". She was very excited when we told her we were going. My husband had not given her a snack while I was napping that day, so she'd gone hours and hours without eating. When she started whining about her stomach hurting at the table, I figured that was the reason. She was just overly-hungry. After being seated at our table for about an hour with no sign of the chef in sight, I finally took my daughter into the lobby, because I feared her incessant whining was going to start bothering our table mates. I told my husband to come and get us when the food came. By the time I threw in the towel and left the table, I was more than a little annoyed. My daughter's whining had gotten on my last nerve so I was being pretty short with her. I told her I was disappointed with her behavior. Then, while she was resting her head on my shoulder, she barfed EVERYWHERE. All over my pants, shirt and the chair we were sitting on. I've never been barfed on before. Oh...my....God! So into the bathroom we rush, where we run into several girls decked out in prom attire. The Prom Night Barbies are hogging up the stalls, so over to the sink, where the geysering continued. Over, and over and over. I just gave a nervous smile to the fancy girls and said "sorry, ladies.." They were all like "Awwwww...". So then after I dredged the sink out with about 20 papertowels (ewwwww!) I waddled back to the table and told my husband (who was oblivious to all this) to pay for our drinks. We have to go...NOW!

I was wearing a tank top with a blouse over it, so before we left the restaurant, I peeled off my chunky, soaked blouse and put my coat on over the tank. Then, in the car, realizing I had no receptacle for additional barfing, gave her the blouse. "If you're gonna spew...spew in this". Which she did. Of course I felt like "Mother of the Year" for dismissing her stomach complaints and even chastising her for her behavior, but she had cried wolf before.

At the steakhouse I had ordered the Filet Mignon. They have a killer one there. On the way home, however, my husband and I settled for greasy hamburgers from the drive-thru. And even then we had to pop all of that into the oven at home so we could peel off all of the barfed on clothes, get in jammies and root out the Pepto (which came right back up). So after a rough night and puny next day, she ended up being a-ok. But upon reflection, I see the parenting metaphor in last weekend's events. Sometimes you want the filet, but you get the greasy, reheated hamburger instead.

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