Saturday afternoon I took my children out for 99-cent rootbeer floats at A&W.
Kevin had been out of town at a church men's retreat up in the mountains. Which left me here to face single-parenthood for the weekend. I do not like being a single mom. I DO like being married, I love spending time with my husband, and it's hard when he goes away because I'm on my own with five children 24/7. Waaaahhhhhh! (So glad he got to go away though. I'm also proud because he led the music for the retreat.)
So, I try to incorporate a fun outing or two into our time-without-Daddy together. To keep us all sane and break up the day.
Hence the rootbeer floats, for which I'd just seen a commercial declaring they were a mere 99 cents. Who can pass that up? (We also attempted visiting the thrift store--half-off on Saturdays!--but there were no open parking spaces and I was too lazy to find somewhere else to park. Darn.)
We'd gone for a drive and dropped into an A&W in a suburb called Centennial. As we were sitting at our booth devouring our treats, a man walked in wearing a cowboy hat, boots and jeans, and he had three girls with him, probably around 10 or 11 years old. They also appeared to have been doing outdoorsy things.
The "restaurant" (does anyone else feel weird calling a fast food establishment a restaurant?) was nearly empty--too late for lunch, too early for dinner. (Just right for root beer floats though.) Yet for some reason these people decided to sit RIGHT next to us. In an otherwise empty room full of tables and booths. Maybe this doesn't seem bothersome to you but it is JUST the sort of thing that makes me nervous and uncomfortable.
I was in the midst of feeding Mary when the group came and sat down. And let's just get this out of the way: I breastfeed in public, and am quite comfortable doing so. I have one of these nursing cover thingies that I use sometimes (and sometimes I don't), and I was using it today. Anyway, the man says hello to my kids, they say hello back. He asks if they're having root beer floats, they say yes. THEN he says something about how Mary was eating too, and having her lunch.
I have to tell you that as nonplussed as I am about nursing my seven-month-old in a public place, I didn't really want to TALK about it with the middle-aged cowboy at the nearby table. But that's okay, he was nice enough.
It was at this point when he said I had my hands full.
Then he asked if I had five carseats.
THEN...in an awestruck voice...
"What kind of CAR do you have?"
Just a minivan, I told him. (While desperately wishing I had not LEFT my minivan. Because I would not have had this trouble if we'd utilized the drive-thru. Sticky, spilled rootbeer and ice cream all over my car, yes. But awkward comments from strangers, no. I'll take the mess.)
But there's more. Because he immediately says,
"More like a mini BUS."
What??!! I honestly had no clue what to say. So I just said, no, it's really just a regular minivan. I SHOULD have told him all about how it's actually my Swagger Wagon. But whatever. (Where my kids at?)
I'm honestly thinking about taking my family and joining the circus. That, or buying a t-shirt that reads,
"I'm a socially anxious introvert who prefers to avoid awkward conversation at all costs."
(Please know that I'm actually a pretty nice person, I just get uncomfortable when strangers are scrutinizing me and my kids. If you were to run into me in a public place and strike up a nice, positive conversation, I'd enjoy it.)
Ironically, when the man and the girls first came inside, he was frustrated with one of them for how they were acting. He gave her a lecture on "etiquette."
Hmmmm. I think I hear crickets.