One of the hardest things I've had to adjust to since the twins came home is my restricted freedom. When it was just Isabella and me, we were rarely home for an entire day. We met friends for playdates. We shopped. We visited the library and her favorite playground. She liked to be out and see people, and although I am far from a social butterfly, I did too. Staying at home is not my thing, and having plans to get out of the house virtually every day was essential to my mental wellbeing.

Enter the twins. Enter colic. Enter nap strikes and ensuing crankiness. Enter hours and hours and hours of crying. Enter my absolute fear of handling two tiny grenades (plus Isabella) in public on my own. Enter agoraphobia. Enter unhappy Kristi.

As I mentioned in their six-month update, I have taken the kids out a few times on my own, but only to places, such as friends' houses, where I know my screaming brood and I won't be thrown out on our collectives arses. Most days, I am home all day long with them. There are weeks when I don't leave my house for three or four days. Each time I consider taking them somewhere, I talk myself out of it, not only because it takes me approximately seven hours to dress them all, pack their gear, load them into carseats, and get on the road, but also because the process is exhausting and the mere thought of the preparation and work involved makes me want to take to the couch and apply a cold cloth to my forehead. But the biggest reason I stay holed up in my home like a Branch Davidian is because I am terrified that Luci and Nicholas will simultaneously implode in public and I will be unable to get them under control.

There are many things I miss about my former freedom, but going out to eat tops the list. I think it's well-established on this blog that I do not cook (I do, however, reheat like nobody's business), and therefore any meal I do not have to prepare is a gift. And while we didn't do it often, eating out with Isabella was fun.

This Sunday, the hubs and I skipped mass given the "if-not-swine-flu-than-eerily-close-to-it" pandemic that apparently has infected the unofficial "families with small children" section of back-of-the-church pews we normally frequent, and opted on a whim to instead go out to breakfast. We had never before taken the twins to a restaurant.

We prepared for battle by packing no fewer than 15 toys, 4 burp cloths, 8 diapers, several teething rattles, and 4 binkies. We also both wore track shoes, lest we have to cut and run from the restaurant at a moment's notice.

Upon arrival at the restaurant (chosen for its wide open floor plan and high ceilings to deflect noise) we crossed our fingers, took two deep breaths, and entered. Both twins were awake in their infant carseats. To say we were terrified is to put it mildly.

We sat down in a booth with Luci on my side and Nicholas on the hubs' side. Isabella sat in a toddler chair at the end of the table. The babies stared at us, perhaps mentally calculating exactly how many minutes of silence they could deliver us before we'd relax our guard.

We ordered. The babies stared at the lights. They were silent. The calm before the storm, we thought.

And then...

They fell asleep.

My two little time bombs, who can transition from happy to harpie in three seconds flat, who take a brutal combination of nursing and rocking and walking and black magic to get to sleep each evening, and who even then wake up 15 minutes later, put themselves to sleep. In a restaurant. And they stayed that way through our entire meal.

The first meal we have eaten together as a family that didn't involve one or both of them screaming through it.

Two very ordinary buttermilk pancakes never tasted so good.

11 Responses to “Out”

  1. # Blogger Damselfly

    Heh heh, you are so funny, even if it's all true! Babies sure know how to zig when you're ready for them to zag.  

  2. # Anonymous Ness @ Drovers Run

    OMG I know how you feel about the going out thing. Well done you for braving it, and enjoying it.

    For me, the hassle, was packing to go out. That is the thing that bothered me most. It was such a pain in the ass to pack to go out, that half the time (more like 95% of the time) I ended up not bothering to go at all. I can't imagine what it's like to double that, and throw a toddler into the mix.

    Anyhoo - so where are you trying the next outing to?  

  3. # Anonymous Ness @ Drovers Run

    Oh, and I once tried explaining my dilemma to my husband, about why I never took the baby out.

    So then we'd all go - and the same thing would happen (he would fall asleep) and my husband would smugly announce that "See? All he needed was a little stimulation." and I'd be like...yeah buddy, I got your stimulation *RIGHT HERE*.  

  4. # Blogger Mom24

    OK, what I take away from this is you need to go out and eat more. :-)

    Glad you had a good time.  

  5. # Blogger shokufeh

    That is awesome! I'm impressed you guys took the risk, and that it turned out so well.
    I was speaking this weekend with a mother who has an almost 3-year-old girl and 14-month-old twins (boy and girl). Her words of hope to you were that life became easier once the twins could sit up. Their gaining independence allowed a little independence for her as well.  

  6. # Blogger Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog

    Whoooo! Sleeping in a restaurant. Excellent.  

  7. # Blogger Pregnantly Plump

    So glad you had a nice meal out!  

  8. # Anonymous Lis Garrett

    Any type of food just tastes better when you're actually able to enjoy it. I'm still waiting for that day . . . ;-)  

  9. # Blogger Sugar and Ice

    Wow, 6 months without going out to eat...I think I might go bonkers. I'm so happy you decided to take the plunge and just do it! I get a lot blue if I spend too much time in the house, so getting out has been key for me since the twinnies came along. Yes, it's a major pain getting everyone ready...I definitely feel you on that one, but once I'm out it's so worth it!  

  10. # Blogger In transit

    Well done! Maybe the excitement of it all exhausted them?

    We still don't dare go out to eat with the baby in tow anytime after 5pm. It's hellish... learnt the hard way when ambitiously tried in the first 8 weeks. She's Ok when she can join in during the day though!

    So, pancakes again this weekend?  

  11. # Blogger Jesser

    So glad you conquered it! Even with just the two it is scaring me a bit ... the timing is hard. And mmm... buttermilk pancakes do sound good. ;)  

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