I needed to take the wee beastie out of the house this morning to give The Mister a chance to catch up on some sleep and rest. It took some effort to get him out of the house but eventually I succeeded and we wound up in Herbstreet. Now, the last time I had brunch here, I had to orchestrate a diversion just to put sugar in my cappuccino. Also my favourite pancakes were a bit gritty that day, as if there was excess butter in the pan that got burnt when cooking. And with the morning not being a very smooth one I was a bit nervous about public toddler meltdowns. Even getting to the restaurant was not without a bit of drama.
I opted for an outside table, because it’s much quieter (and also gives me quick escape routes) and before I even took a seat I asked the waiter for the most important things we would need:
“One portion of chips with ketchup and your biggest decaf cappuccino, please!”
(Yes, I drink decaf cappuccinos. It’s to savour the experience without getting more wound up and hyper than my own child.)
The restaurant host immediately understood the subtext: chips with ketchup = less chance of tantrum. There were chips and ketchup in front of the wee beastie within minutes. Colouring pencils and a page out of a colouring book were on my table before I even had a chance to open the menu, not that I needed it because their blueberry pancakes with orange honey butter have always been my favourite. I briefly contemplated trying something else based on my last experience but decided that I needed to give the pancakes a chance to redeem themselves. After all, I did get a discount last time when I mentioned my dissatisfaction, and the service here is generally excellent.
Because I was distracted with tucking in the stroller, putting away my bag, ordering etc, I ended up not fussing at all with Hawkeye’s food. I didn’t remember to check the temperature or set some fries out of the bowl to cool faster. However, the kid is growing up fast. By the time I turned my attention to him he was well tucked into his food. He had carefully tested the fries himself, declared them to be hot, blew on them briefly before gingerly picking one up and daintily dipping it into his ketchup. The whole meal, in fact, was probably the most fuss free dining experience we’ve had that didn’t require resorting to pulling out a tablet for him or some other distraction. I was able to have my cappuccino in peace, eat my pancakes (perfectly prepared in this instance) in peace, and sit back and relax.
Hawkeye even ordered for himself when he ran out of ketchup and needed more, requiring only a slight prompt to ask the world’s most patient waiter “can I have more ketchup pleeeeease?”
What amused me most however, and kept me chuckling throughout the whole meal is the colouring book page that the host left at our table. In the past we’ve had minions, and trolls, and I think one time there was Santa.
It took a moment for me to figure out what I was staring at this time, and I nearly spit my coffee all over it when I realised what my almost-three-year-old got to colour in:
Uncle Fester from the Addams Family indulging his passion for destruction. Like I need to give this kid more ideas!