The phantom Cheerio, and other unsolved mysteries

I went to change Chippy’s diaper this morning, and was mystified to find a Cheerio wedged in his little crack, and an Kix in the inside bottom of his sock.  While I did not examine the Cheerio closely (my morbid curiosity only extends so far), I am 99% sure it was undigested.  The Kix, I am at a complete loss to explain. 

Sometimes I wish my son was old enough to talk so he could explain these little mysteries to us.

More often than not, though, it is now how the food got there, but how so much of the food could get everywhere.

We went out to dinner the other night to the new Mongolian Grill by our house.  J loves this place; as a self-professed carnivore, he loves the fact that he can gleefully heap mounds of uncooked meat into those little bowls and make it as spicy as he wants. 

Eating out with kids poses and especially large challenges.  Chip’s new thing is to scream loudly, not because he’s mad, sad or hungry but just because.  More than one time, our food has arrived at the table, and minutes later has to be boxed up to go.  Usually, I sit holding the baby on my lap (or standing, bouncing him), while I hurriedly try to cram as much food into my mouth as possible (it is for this reason I usually order food that can be eaten with one hand).  I seem to forget all of these scenarios each time we embark to go out to dinner with the kids. 

Tonight, however, both kids were in rare form… contentedly eating their food, which in turn allowed both my husband and I to eat in a semi-state of peace and leisure.

We finish round 1, and J went back to stand in the ever-growing line.   Bobo was busy munching away on her noodles, and dinner’s going great, when all of the sudden, Bobo looks at me and says, “Momma, I have to go potty… NOW.”

From the corner of my eye, I can see J in the buffet line, surrounded by hoards of people, happily mounding piles of frozen sliced beef into his little bowl.  I snake my way over there and hiss at my husband, signaling for him to come over.  My husband, ever the good sport, comes trotting over, bowl o’ beef in hand.  I leave him with Chippie, and Bobo and I sprint off to the bathroom.

Let’s just say our trip to the bathroom was not a fast one.  Bobo was in a dilly-dallying mood, talking about all sorts of things.  She also had to go #2.  Normally I would find this cute; now, however, I was hungry. 

Ten minutes later, we make it back to the table.

I find J, bowl of steak tartare still sitting there, who has managed to find all of the finger food in the diaper bag and try to entertain Chippy with it.  Some if it, he has eaten, the rest he has joyfully flung over the floor (his new thing is to put something on the floor and say “Uh oh”.  At home we encourage this and say how cute it is; I am regretting this decision now).  J has also decided to see if Chip likes sticky white rice, which he does, as evidenced by the glutinous little globs stuck all over his hair, face and clothes.

I send J back to the buffet line to cook up his food, and we finish the rest of the meal somewhat peacefully. 

Then I see it. 

Piles, and I mean piles of food strung all over the floor underneath the high chair where my son sits.  Bobo has managed to spill her egg flour soup, and we have used a huge pile of wipes and napkins to mop it up.  In short, our table, and the surrounding area, looks like a food tornado whipped through it. 

I am more than a little horrified, and feel sorry for the poor soul who will have to clean this up.  Or even worse, for the family that has to sit there after us and find bits of noodles and Cheerios stuck in the cracks of the booth.  I scoop Chippy out of his high chair, trying to pick off all of the now hardened bits of rice and cereal.  Superglue has nothing on this stuff.

We leave an especially big tip.  As I drive away, I wonder to myself how much time we have to wait until we can go back to that place again.  Dang, the food was good…