Monday, June 22, 2009

Letting Spanky Be Spanky

Spanky is a very strong-willed, independent little boy. He likes things his way. It's how God made him. And that is OK.

Except we don't go to many public places with him.

The other week, we decided after a pretty good behavior day in church (aka no children pulled hair or pushed siblings head-first into pews) to take the entire family out for Tex-Mex. Including Spanky.

The meal started out OK. The kids gorged on chips and queso with guac followed by stuffed jalepenos. I enjoyed a frozen margarita with Mike.

And then some Tom Petty hit the speakers.

Spanky loves classic rock.

He quickly got down from his seat and began to waltz around our table to the beat. And of course a waltzing toddler has no concept of personal space. He began to bump into waitresses carrying the hot plates of fajita meat and other patrons enjoying their meal.

It was at that moment I had a decision to make.

Pull him back up the table which would result in screams and kicks or let him continue and enjoy the show.

I took a breath and chose the latter. I motioned Miley to guide Spanky to less busy areas. Before I took another sip of my frozen drink, all four of my kids were dancing to 'Last Dance With Mary Jane'.

A couple beside us smiled. The waitresses, who carefully watched their footing, smiled. A family in front of us turned and smiled. It was working out.

And then Spanky found a giant half dead june bug.

He screamed "Bug, bug," directing all attention to the rather unappetizing insect.

Of course all four children had to investigate, poke and comment.

I focused on my stuffed shrimp and tried to coo the kids back to their seats for the quesadillas. No dice.

After what seemed liked hours, the kids came back to the table and ate. I had another margarita.

When the meal was done, I noticed people still smiling at us. I smiled back and gratefully got the kids to the nearby fountain to get out the rest of the energy they seemed to be full of. Lynyrd Skynard was playing so Spanky really wanted to dance. (Can you blame him though--I mean 'Sweet Home Alabama'--come on!)

Mike and I plopped down on the bench and let the kids go nuts, Spanky leading the way.

I looked up and saw the couple that sat across from us walk over to our bench.

They actually thanked us for letting the kids have fun and dance. They told us they thought the kids were entertaining and made them smile.

I was over the moon with pride.

Then they pulled out a card and told us they are the owners of the restaurant and wanted to to treat us to our next meal.

I looked down and saw a very generous gift card.

All for letting Spanky be Spanky.


dani said...

or to keep you from turning them in for having bugs!!! i choose to believe the former rather than the latter, ha!!!
much love,
dani xxx

Amanda said...

Can we borrow Spanky next time we go out for a meal?
What a cutie!
Amanda x

Dawn said...

I think that is awesome!!!!! You are a great mom!!

Elaine A. said...

Wow, it's not often that you get that reaction. Usually people act the complete opposite. So glad you had a good experience!

And apparently Spanky "works it" and gets free food. Do you loan him out? hee hee...

Michelle said...

I am so glad that worked out! I bet Spanky is loads of fun, it made me smile reading about it!

mah-meeee said...

that's so great! my second is hitting that age where eating out is a chore. reading your post is really encouraging to take the whole family out to eat this weekend!

Momo Fali said...

Yay Spanky! Yay you!

I would also like to borrow him. We like free food.

the Preppy Princess said...

Oh goodness Miss VBMW4, this is such a remarkable story! The vision of those 4 dancing to Sweet Home, Alabama is just too wonderful. (And you know how we adore your Spanky!)

And the gift card is icing on the cake, it seems the real blessing is the pleasure you gave others!

Maria @BOREDmommy said...

Good for you for letting your children be children. And good for that couple who recognized it and appreciated it enough to say so. Sounds like you have a fun group of kids. Glad I discovered your blog.

KC said...

That is wonderful... the kids had fun you had a good meal and you are going to get to have more fun and more food for free... Love this post.

KC said...

That is wonderful... the kids had fun you had a good meal and you are going to get to have more fun and more food for free... Love this post.

Heidi Day said...

I LOVED this!!!!! You and I share the same mother-thoughts.

JCK said...

It is amazing what the Universe gives you when you are on the right course. :)