Friday began this past weekend of in exhaustive fashion. Rosaline's preschool had coordinated a field trip to the San Diego Zoo, so we took the big girls out of class for the day (shhhhh) and I took of work to have a family outing. It really was a great day, but that much walking and the warming Southern California weather just took the life out of everyone. By the time we got into the car it was nearing 4 and we were now subject to the So Cal commuter traffic.... and still some 90 miles from home.
After about 2 very rough hours we had just passed our half way point when Rosaline declared an emergency. She had to go number 1. NOW!!!!
I don't know how it is that there is not the slightest inclination that urine is building in a four-year-old's bladder until just before that moment it's ready to rupture, but I'm sure there's a scientific explanation behind it. As we inched along towards the nearest exit with signs of life, we finally made it to a dismal gas station with a restroom. This is how bad it was: when Gina returned and the other two admitted they really needed to go as well, Gina flat out denied them. She was never going back in that place again; we'd find an alternative solution.
As we headed back on to the road Gina and I decided, it was getting late, kids were hungry, kids had to pee, adults couldn't stand the thought of another hour staring at taillights - it was time to eat. So we pulled into a TGIF and bellied up to a table.
The experience was sub par. We ordered an appetizer, it never came. My chicken was literally not cooked at all (even the manager was shocked how raw it was) and there was a general blasé hanging over some very tired girls. However, towards the end of the meal and older couple, just finishing from a nearby table, stopped to interrupt us.
"I'm sorry, but I just had to talk a moment to tell you what a wonderful family you have here. To have so many, and so young, behave so politely in a restaurant is really amazing. What ever you are doing, keep doing it."
It was a rough day. If she'd seen us 45 minute earlier at a dead stop on the 15 screaming "DON'T YOU DARE PEE YOUR PANTS!" I doubt she would have such kind verbiage. But for me, to hear someone with no vested interest take time to express "job well done". ... it can really give you that confidence that you're not completely screwing them up after all.
Of course then she left and dessert followed about 12 seconds later. At that point my "wonderful children" were reduced to a snarling hoard of rabid monsters diving over the table and licking the coating off the dish. ... if she'd come up to converse with us at that moment she might have ended up a casualty. Life's all about timing, right?!