I like to dine out frequently. Its not like we have too much cash that we can throw away on expensive food. Even a “vada pav” will do for dinner once in a while. To be honest, I am not that great a cook. In the sense, I can make things that my mother and grandmother used to make, reasonably well. But if you ask me to make a casserole or lasagna or Chinese, I would be totally lost. The same goes for steaks. If one of my kids wants to have Steak and if on that particular day I am totally not in a mood to roll out chapatis, I oblige.
When we dine out, we get this opportunity to have “talks” with our kids and advice them in an atmosphere that is not home. This is especially true in my case, since the chances of voices being raised becomes very low. I don’t have a good hold on my temper, even at this age. To tell you the truth, I think I had more patience when I was younger.
So with this in mind, we decided to have steak for dinner the day before yesterday. We parked, put change in the parking meter, found a quiet corner in the restaurant and settled down to give our orders. We were at the tail end of our order, when there was a screeching sound that interrupted us. Even the waiter had a smile on his face while we tried to complete our order with voices above the screeching sound. Even though none of us looked explicitly at that table, we knew that small kiddos had arrived and the smallest one in the group , who couldn’t have been more than two years old, was the culprit. It’s hard to believe that such a petite looking thing could scream like that!
The group (on Table1 ) comprised of two moms and three children. Two pretty little girls, neither over the age of 8 and a boy, our cute little culprit. The screaming continued for a while, and the mother was totally pissed off. Both the mothers left the table for a while. When they returned, the boy was cuddled in the arms of the other mom, quiet and was constantly looking in our direction. I couldn’t help being attracted to this little chap. Each time I cast an eye in their direction, I saw him looking at me. I had to smile, but I was not sure if I wanted to smile or not. The mothers were not in a great mood and my smiling will only make it look like I am laughing at their plight.
Soon, the food arrived and since the boy had settled down with a garlic bread, we were able to enjoy the meal in peace. The mothers, I induced, were working moms, size minus zero, both with blackberry in hand. They were two very perfect looking Modern Indian Women. It took a while for them to settle down and enjoy the meal with the kids. I am guessing that they were sisters.
At this table (Table 2) sat a father and mother, with two teenagers, trying their best to understand each other. The conversations on this table comprises of Blackberrys, iPhones, iPads, lack of dedication to schoolwork, upcoming school trip to NASA and the weekend camping trip from school.
The tension/excitement at both tables are almost at the same levels. Parents at both the tables are confused yet look confident. Kids at both the tables are equally in awe of life.
It made me wonder how fast I travelled from Table 1 to table 2. How did I get promoted to the advanced motherhood grade? I don’t remember any memos or congratulation party. I definitely don’t remember a salary hike (Pun intended).
How did I crossover from Table 1 to Table 2? Does that mean that I am jealous of those young shapely things? NO WAY! I have earned every wrinkle on my face and very ounce of fat on my body. No, I would not trade places with them ever.
The kids got away with whatever mischiefs they had done and got permissions to do a few more. Sigh! Can I get promoted to Table 3?
At Table 3, sat an old couple enjoying each other’s company and praying that they have done a good job when they were at Table 1 and Table 2.
Is this a case of “The grass is greener…. “ ? I wonder ….. 🙂