Saturday night confirmed, yet again, that dining out with kids is usually better as a concept than a reality.


Before we left the house, I asked my husband to oversee the gathering of shoes and sweatshirts. I think he forgot the checklist, because, after a clumsy parallel parking of the minivan in Manayunk, we discovered that our 2-year-old was wearing one Croc, not two.


Covering her naked foot, we slipped her into a high chair and our twin 5-year-olds into a booth. Then my son told me he did not want a hot dog, which was dispiriting since we had chosen the restaurant for its emphasis on nitrates. Griffin gobbled a plateful of French fries. His twin, Georgia, usually our “good” eater, declared her cheeseburger unfit.


When my salad arrived, I managed a few forkfuls before Georgia stole my tomatoes. She noisily slurped the juice out of the giant slices, while Jane scattered asparagus spears on the floor. After taking the twins to the bathroom, I returned to see my husband swatting Jane’s bare foot off the table.


The upside was that the waitress bungled our beer order. We wound up getting one of our two guzzled pints for free, bringing the bill to a mere $70.13. On the way home Luke Bryan told me, via radio, “if you ain’t a 10, you’re a 9.9...” And we found Jane’s pink Croc, lying just where she left it, on the sidewalk in front of our house.

Now, if that doesn’t make -- as Bryan says -- your “speakers go boom boom,” I frankly don't know what would.


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