We have done our best to teach our children manners and social protocol. They say please and thank you when appropriate. When someone asks them a question they answer it. We have tried to teach them when it is okay to sing and dance and when it’s time to sit and listen. However, sometimes, I think it’s easier to teach a monkey algebra.
Last evening is a prime example. We went out to eat a restaurant our kids have never eaten at. Chinese. I don’ t like Chinese food. I do like chicken fried rice, though. Beef and Broccoli is good, too. So are chicken balls. Anyway, our kids know that in a restaurant they are to be seated, quiet (inside voice, not necessarily silent) and eating if there is food in front of them. Apparently in their little 7 and 3 year old minds these rules don’t exist in either A) a new restaurant or B) Chinese restaurant.
They were annoying from the start. We found our table and the 3 year old (who I’ll refer to as Bang) had us playing musical chairs. Normally, I would have him pick a chair and his choice is final. Of course, last night he had to change his mind. I was about to tell him to just in the seat he chose and he was about scream (well, growl loudly) at me. I let him “win” this time and we changed seats.
The 7 year old (who is now Crash) starts tormenting Bang trying to set him off and make him scream. Fortunately, Bang was able to control himself and not once called his big brother stupid, stupy, toopy, or any other nonsense form of the word which still carries the same meaning. Nevertheless, Crash was being annoying.
Then our food came. I thought this would settle them. Wrong. Bang was eating his mashed potatoes (is that a Chinese food?) in bites the size of a small hippo. Even after being told repeatedly, and even shown what a small bite is, he insisted on forkful. Then he starts gagging. See! I told you to take little bites! DW hauls him to the bathroom with hopes that he didn’t puke all over the restaurant. He didn’t, but it was it was still annoying.
After supper was finished they KNOW to stay in their seats until it’s time to go. We’re not at home. You don’t go wandering around or play on the floor, I tell them frequently. It isn’t seconds after they are done that I find them out of their seats. Bang walks over to crash singing, All around the garden goes the teddy bear, one step, two step, tickle under there! and he’d try to tickle Crash. It would have been cute had we not been in the middle of a restaurant trying to eat. Then they sneak off to a nearby empty table to play and to put them back at the table in their seats you would have thought we were asking them clean. We gathered our stuff as quickly as we could and vowed we wouldn’t be eating out again for a long time.
I swear they know better. These weren’t our kids! These were some freakishly, annoying kids who got switched out with our well mannered, polite children. So until our sweet little angels return, I’ll be over here teaching this monkey the quadratic equation.
p.s. They’re still annoying today. At the grocery store they both pick up an M&M container (you know the new plastic ones they’re making?) – one in each hand – and shake it like Taylor Swift’s going out style.