In retrospect, taking three hungry girls – who had been up since six this morning and were all jacked up on cinnamon rolls and soy milk – to an upscale Indian bistro was not the brightest idea.
Turns out, most upscale Indian bistros do not have a kids’ menu. The lone highchair hidden in the back of the restaurant was spotless – a sure sign that this was not going to be a “kid friendly” dining experience. But it’s my husband’s birthday, and he wanted Indian food. So we persevered.
We asked the waitress (the only waitress, in fact, in the bistro) if we could have a basket of naan to keep the natives from getting restless. Apparently she’s not used to dealing with such plebian requests, because that was completely ignored. I resorted to digging out every half-eaten snack from the bottom of my purse and doling it out like it was Christmas candy. Everyone loves to eat four month old Mum-Mums, right?
A decided to express her displeasure in a physical fashion, since she’s too young to whine (don’t worry; L and C covered that. No dining experience would be complete without it!). She crumpled her Mum-Mums into miniature fragments and confetti’d our table. Raisins rained on the floor. And the naan, when we finally got it, was hurled across the room. I’m sure that our fellow diners, sitting at tables for two in their business wear, appreciated the show.
Especially once the shrieking began.
We tried to order the most kid-friendly dishes possible. The birthday boy got vegetable fritters as a starter, and I got potato samosas (mmm….samosas). Neither one of the big girls would touch a fritter, but A actually seemed to enjoy it. The samosas, on the other hand, were immediately spit onto the previously immaculate black tablecloth. (An aside: if there are tablecloths and actual napkins, then it’s not a restaurant one should take children. Lesson learned). For our entrees, he had the chicken Korma and I got chicken tikka masala. Both (relatively) child friendly, both (relatively) mild.
It was met with a resounding “YUCK” from all parties (all parties under 4’5″). L, our adventurous diner who lives for shrimp and is known to eat sushi, actually tried it. She popped a piece of chicken Tikka into her mouth, made a face, and daintily wiped her mouth while whispering, “No thank you”.
At this point, it is one o’clock in the afternoon. Did I mention that the girls had been up since six? And that we were already entering nap time? We were a runaway train headed straight for Meltdownville. So, I did what all desperate parents do in this situation: I promised them McDonald’s in exchange for twenty minutes of good behavior.
It was a feeling of beautiful relief when we walked back out into the oven we call Texas, leaving a trail of saffron rice and fritter crumbs in our wake. And we went to McDonald’s.