On Eating out with Children (Or Why We Usually Eat Leftovers).

July 16, 2014

taco casa
Scene: Local Taco Casa, lunchtime.

Kelly, mom in mid-thirties
Keynan, seven-year-old son
Parker, six-year-old son
Hannah Beth, three-year-old daughter
Woman in Adjoining Booth

After finding a booth, grabbing forks and napkins, and getting the drinks situated, Kelly sits in a booth beside Hannah Beth and across from Keynan and Parker. 

Keynan: “Mom, what’s the country with all of the ice?”

Kelly: “Iceland?”

Keynan: “No, it starts with an A.”

Parker: “You mean A-LASK-A.”

Keynan: “No, it’s the one at the bottom.”

Kelly passes out tacos, enchiladas, nacho chips, and beans from a tray.

Kelly: “Oh! Do you mean Antarctica? It’s a continent.”

Keynan: “Yes, Antarctica. Is that where the penguins live? The ones with four arms.”

Kelly: “I don’t think penguins with four arms exist.”

Kelly opens straw wrapper for Hannah Beth. Picks up straw wrapper Parker shot at Hannah Beth.

Keynan: “Well, I think it would be fun to travel to Antarctica and ride on the backs of the penguins with four arms.”

Kelly: “You’re right. That would be fun. But penguins don’t have four arms, and even if they did, I don’t think we could ride on their backs.”

Keynan: “Katara and Aang rode on penguins with four arms.”

Kelly: “Well, yes, but Avatar is a cartoon, where people draw the characters and put them into motion. So, they aren’t real. Someone decided to draw an extra two arms on the penguins to enhance the … what in the world?”

Parker looks up, enchilada dripping from his face, chili and melted cheese covering his fingers.

Parker: “What?”

Kelly: “Have you put any of that Chilada in your mouth? It’s everywhere. Here, use a knife. You can’t eat enchiladas with your hands.”

Kelly passes out more napkins. Motions for Parker to use his.

Hannah Beth: “Hey Mom, I have a joke. Knock, Knock…”

Parker: “AAAAAAH, the napkin’s in the chili!”

Kelly: “Get another one.”

Hannah Beth (louder): “Mom! Knock, knock.”

Kelly: “Who’s there?”

Keynan: “Mom, do you see those guys over there? Are they all twins?”

Parker: “They are! They’re twins! Mom, wouldn’t that be cool if we were all twins?”

Kelly turns her head to glance in the direction of the boys’ pointing and staring. Hannah Beth stands up in her seat and starts to twirl on the spot, pulling her dress up past her shoulders.

Kelly: “Okay, first of all, please don’t point and stare. Both of you. Stop looking at them. Look at me. Okay, those guys aren’t twins. They look nothing alike. They are simply men who work for the same company. They must have to wear a uniform. See, here are a few more of them.”

Men in uniformed City Maintenance shirts, jeans and baseball caps pass, carrying lunch trays. 

Hannah Beth: “Tortilla! Mom! Did you like my joke? I said tortilla!”

Kelly turns to face answer Hannah Beth who is still standing on the booth seat with her dress in the air.

Kelly: “Woah! Put your dress down! And hee-hee. Tortilla! I get it. Okay. You need to sit down on your bottom and eat your lunch.”

Keynan: “Mom, where is Alaska? I know it’s big, but I can’t remember. Can we drive to Alaska?”

Kelly: “I’ll get my phone out to look, but you need to start eating.”

Kelly places taco back on its wrapper. Finds iPhone. Opens up the Maps App. Keynan takes one bite of his taco then continues to talk about traveling the world. 

Parker starts to sing: “This is the moment. Tonight is the night. We’ll fight till it’s over, so we’ll put our hands up, like the ceiling can’t hold us…”

Kelly: “Okay. I pulled up directions from our house to Anchorage, Alaska. See?”

Keynan: “Can we drive there sometime?”

Kelly: “I’ll have to talk to your dad about that. It would take, let’s see, 3 days and 2 hours.”

Kelly glances down at Hannah Beth. Finds nacho cheese in Hannah Beth’s hair. Kelly wipes and tugs at the glob with a napkin. Hannah Beth protests.

Keynan: “Mom, you know the Buddy movies? Those movies are real, and they live in a town in Washington. Could we go see them in Washington? Is it close to Alaska? Because in one of the movies the Buddies fly to Alaska in a plane.”

Kelly: “Well, the Buddies use real people and animals to play in the movies, but they don’t actually live in Washington or travel to Alaska to help a husky complete the Iditarod. Someone wrote a story about that, and a movie company paid actors to tell the story.”

Keynan: “But the people are real. They aren’t drawn like Avatar.”

Kelly: “Right, but it’s still not a true story. It’s fiction, which is a story that someone made up.”

Keynan: “So, what’s real then?”

Kelly: “Well, real is actually happening, and fiction is when you pretend something happens.”

Keynan: “Mom, did you know Taco Casa has been here since 1972?”

Kelly: “What? No, we watched this place being built, remember? It’s only been opened a few months.”

Keynan: “That sign says Established 1972.”

Kelly: “Oh! Right, well, the Taco Casa franchise started in 1972. I’m not sure where the first one was built, but it’s a chain of restaurants. So, you can see other Taco Casas at other places, but the first one was built in 1972, I guess.”

Keynan: “What’s a franchise?”

Kelly: “It’s a business with more than one location. Franchise means that the people at this location can use the Taco Casa name and sell their food.”

Conversation continues in the same vein until a woman sitting in the adjoining booth turns.

Woman in Adjoining Booth: “I just want you to know. You have the most well-behaved children. I taught school for 35 years, so I know. They are precious.”

Kelly looks at Hannah Beth who is digging nacho cheese from a bowl with her finger. Then over to Parker who is still singing “The ceiling can’t hold uuussss. Like the ceiling can’t hold uuuus.” And Keynan who has finally decided to eat his lunch. 

Kelly: *slow blink*

And scene.

Approximate running time: 15 minutes.

Photo Credit: jypsygen via Compfight cc

Kelly Wiggains

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Kelly Wiggains, a high school English teacher turned homeschooling mom, likes to surround herself with good literature, beautiful things, and big ideas, and she wants her home to reflect those things, too. Here at KellyWiggains.com she talks about everything From Literature to Living.
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3 responses to On Eating out with Children (Or Why We Usually Eat Leftovers).

  1. I would eat lunch with your family any time, any place. You know that. And your children ARE precious and adorable. That being said, I imagine mealtime probably is a little easier for you when less nacho cheese sauce is involved.

  2. Victoria Gottschalk July 16, 2014 at 9:47 am

    You are a great mom and you have great kids!! :-)