Saturday, October 24, 2009

Wild Saturday Nights Don't End When You Have Kids ... They Just End Earlier : )

I just got back from dinner out. I won a rubber chicken from a waitress dressed up as Monica Lewinsky. Yes, I'm serious. No, I'm not drunk. And man, did I have a blast : )

Let me explain ...

A couple of weeks ago, Belle and I had lunch at this

truly amazing restaurant that specializes in chicken wings but has pretty much everything you can imagine on its menu (and reading the menu is an exercise in hilarity itself!). After our delicious meal of "Spongebob Cheesepants" and "The George Michael" (a pulled pork burrito--I'm telling you, READ THE MENU ... you will pee yourself), our waiter very kindly (heh!) mentioned to my five-year-old that, on the nights of the 23rd and 24th, Wild Willy himself (this giant chicken mascot thing) would be present along with a variety of Halloween festivities.

Belle can't remember to brush her teeth without a stern reminder. She's doing well if she's changed her underwear on her own (yes, I check). I'm not confident that she remembers her phone number, but that kid remembered without question that we WOULD be at Wings Your Way on Saturday the 24th. There was no way in hell I was getting out of it. The fact that Addie is at a marching band competition and my mother is at a UNH hockey game with my uncle made it even harder to try to distract Belle long enough to let dinnertime pass. I finally figured that, what I couldn't avoid, I might as well try to enjoy.

And we had a blast : )

First, Belle was given her own pumpkin to decorate.

She had clearly inherited my artistic (in)ability, but it was fun. She was told by the server that she could bring it home or put it on display anywhere in the restaurant, so Belle very seriously said to the server after finishing, "Excuse me, I'd like to put my pumpkin on display, please." It was quite funny : ) I have a good pic of her "on display" pumpkin, by the way, but it shows Belle's real name and that's not how I flow. Suffice it to say, it fits right into this lovely atmosphere of cobwebs and chicken feet painted on the wall:

This was followed by more art,

Dinner (the obvious low point of our evening),

and Worm Pudding, a Halloween treat provided to children in costume--since Belle was in full princess attire, complete with her "royal scepter" (and yes, this is what she refers to the 99 cent wand I got at Rite Aid as), she was clearly covered (although less than impressed with the whole worm pudding thang).

By this point, it was just about time for the evening's highlight: a visit from Wild Willy, the giant chicken. Belle was quite distraught when he started in a different location of the restaurant, watching carefully (and not very patiently) as the guy in the chicken suit made his rounds,

But it was all worth it in the end:

And then I won the rubber chicken, which is a story unto itself, but the point of this post is not to show you how gorgeous Belle is in her Halloween (ahem) finery or even to provide a recommendation to Wings Your Way (located on the New Hampshire seacoast with a satellite restaurant on campus at UNH--don't ask why I know that, and definitely don't ask if I've been there ;)). It's that I was reminded that wild (pun partially intended) and crazy and silly and ridiculous things can happen when you're out with your children. The easy laughter and goofy times don't end when you--ahem--grow up.

It's seven o'clock right now, and not too many years ago, I wouldn't even have been started having fun on a Saturday night. The phrase, "I won a rubber chicken from Monica Lewinsky" would have had a completely different context. Now, I'm in my pajamas while Belle makes Halloween posters of her own invention (okay, she's creative--she just doesn't color in the lines :)) and the dogs have been fed and out and back in and all is right with the world.

I'm going to go read Belle a story now. And give her an extra kiss : )

Isn't it funny when the universe reminds you what's really important?

Are Minorities Discouraged from Taking Upper-Level Classes?: The Elephant in the Room

As a public school teacher for sixteen years, I sometimes feel like I’ve seen it all. I’ve seen Standards come and go (and despite the brou...