The F-Word

You would have to wonder what kids would eat if they didn’t have parents around to feed them the right stuff. Not that we always do feed them the “right stuff”. Think about the last time you asked your kids where they wanted to go to eat; you don’t usually get a great list of choices now do you? McDonald’s, Chunk E Cheese’s and then there is Friendly’s (the place where no one is friendly by the time you leave). I never get “Hey Mom, that’s great that you ask! Can we go to that great local restaurant that you wrote about in your blog. You know that one where they make stuff that if I knew what it was I wouldn’t eat it!” I doubt you get that either.

The other night I lost my senses, I actually volunteered to take the kids to Friendly’s by myself. Just me and three kids. Have I mentioned I have been under stress the past week? I think it finally got to me. Yes, I decided that it was a good idea to go to Friendly’s. Please don’t get me wrong I have fond memories of Friendly’s as a kid, I’m sure most of us do – our parents on the other hand might think differently; as we now do as parents. Regardless of my issues with Friendly’s the kids love it. In fact it is almost the only place Gabrielle will even consider going to when asked about eating out (sad isn’t it). This kills me and now Lex and Loki are catching the bug too. I’m sure you heard the “eye-roll” in that last sentence. Here is the thing about Friendly’s: the food isn’t that good, the service is usually slow and by the time the kids eat and get their ice cream they have climbed the walls from one end of the place to the other. I will not say that all Friendly’s are this way, however the majority of the ones I have been to are. This is a restaurant that caters to the young and old, both groups that have issues with time. Kids can’t wait, patience isn’t their strong suit and then there are the elderly who frequent this chain establishment. These people don’t have the time to wait. My god, they could die waiting for their “Supermelt”.

Needless to say we went to Friendly’s. We happened to go to the “good” one in our area. This means we went to the one that is the least painful of them all and in Massachusetts, Friendly’s are like Starbucks in NYC. All three children were very excited and looking forward to eating all their dinner to get their ice cream treat that waited for them in the end.

Once we were seated they ripped into their crayons and place-mats, excited to express themselves as their prepared for the long wait. The staff was eager to get the kids their drinks, something that doesn’t always work in a parent’s favor. Getting drinks early means that their is nothing left by the time their food comes and means a second drink and visits to the bathroom. Lex ordered the chocolate milk himself and I ordered strawberry milk for Loki. Gabrielle requested a chocolate Fribble, but since it seems that every Friendly’s in Massachusetts is out of chocolate soft-serve ice cream she got a hybrid made with vanilla and chocolate sauce. The drinks came and then the ordering began. Lex again took the lead and ordered his food, selecting the Mac & Cheese. Loki and Gabrielle went for Chicken Fingers with fries.

Then we had to amuse ourselves. This is the part I dread the most. In the past I would stuff my backpack full of puzzles and stuff to amuse them, but I have completely gotten away from that as they have gotten bigger. Why? Because we don’t go “out-out” nearly as much with them for a sit down dinner. Each colored for a while and then we played the “Quiet Game” (something Lex and the kids at Daycare play all the time – where there is a leader and everyone else has to be quiet-anyone who makes any noise is out), which Loki was disqualified from the moment I said “Go!” We watched other tables get their food and with each food delivery there was the same apology, “Sorry this took so long!” This, of course, isn’t encouraging when we thought the people next to us were actually finished eating when we got there and waiting for their bill. We somehow managed to wait it out.

Each of the children did very well eating their dinner. Lex ate all his Mac & Cheese (just like out of the box at home) and most of his fries. He also managed to save some of his chocolate milk until the end of this meal, something the girls did not do. I didn’t have to poke Gabrielle about eating, just had to worry that the damn cell phone that is permanently attached to her head didn’t ring while we were having dinner (it didn’t). Loki took her sweet time and amused everyone with her mouthfuls of food.

The meal ended with ice cream creations that were bigger then the kids stomachs could take. Lex and Gabrielle both tackled the Build Your Own Sundae, which was made up of 3 scoops of chocolate ice cream, whipped cream and three toppings (Jimmies, Reese’s Pieces and marshmallow sauce). Loki had a Cone Head Sundae, but focused on eating anyone else’s Reese’s that she could get her little hands on. No one finished their ice cream, but each of them left happy.

As for me, I managed to survive my delusional state of mind and a trip to Friendly’s. Not too bad, if I do say so myself.

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~ by Cute Fan Girl on August 15, 2011.

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