I need help, people. Because something happened today that I am trying to wrap my head around and I need to understand it so that my brain doesn’t just turn to liquid and pour out of my ears. Many heads are better than just mine, so let’s come up with reasons to explain what I saw today, okay?
Here’s the scenario.
The kids and I go out to lunch a few times a week. Sometimes it’s just (Old) McDonald’s so Joshua can burn some energy on the play place. Sometimes Joshua requests a grilled cheese and french fries and peanuts which means Five Guys. Which is where we were today.
I walked in with Emma on my hip, the diaper bag on my shoulder, and Joshua 2 inches from my leg. I placed our order while he reminded me 16 times that he “needed” peanuts. (Sidenote: When do they understand the difference between “need” versus “want”?)
The lady gave me our total and I hoofed Emma off of one hip and onto the other and dug around in my diaper bag to fish my debit card out of the side pocket. I handed it over to her, put Emma back on my left hip to sign my slip, grabbed our cups, and found a table. Then, while still holding Emma, I went over to the highchair area and grabbed one, dragged it back to the table, put Emma in it, got Joshua some peanuts (finally), and then went to fill our drinks.
A worker complimented me on my well-behaved children and I did the running man in my head while actually saying “hope you didn’t just jinx it!” (Probably should’ve lead with “thank you.”)
I got my drink and Joshua’s water and made my way back to our table. They called my number and I retrieved my brown bag of delicious, returned to our table, and fed myself and my children.
While we were eating, the following happened:
I noticed one of the workers go to the restaurant’s side door and open it. In strolled a dad with two children, one in a stroller, one walking. I’d say his children were the same ages as mine. Truly, aside from him being a dad and me being a mom, we were the same family.
So, okay, they opened the door for him.
The dad and his children sat at the table next to ours. The dad got some peanuts and sat down and he and his oldest son proceeded to eat said peanuts while they waited.
Then, when his order was ready, they called out his number, he looked up, and they brought his brown bag of food to his table so he didn’t have to get up. Except they weren’t staying and had placed their order to go, so he had to get up anyway since he was leaving, but the restaurant guy went out of his way to walk this man’s food over to him.
Okay, here’s the thing.
I expect zero help when I’m out with the kids. We have a system. We work it. Things get done. It isn’t always pretty.
The kinds of restaurants I visit with the two of them aren’t the full-service kind and are quick-serve or fast food or somewhere where if Joshua throws a fit and Emma starts screamcrying I’m (hopefully) not the only parent in the room to ever experience that kind of public humiliation.
But I cannot wrap my brain around why there were no offers to help me and people went out of their way to help this dad. If anything, he seemed to have things way more under control than I did, what with the forethought to actually use a stroller and all.
Give me your wildest, craziest tale of why today’s scenario happened. Or the truth.
But I really don’t want to believe that this was a case of “oh, he’s a dad with his kids so he must need help because he’s a dad and that mom over there can do everything because she has six extra invisible hands that no one but she can see and she’s got this.”