Sunday, February 10, 2008

How R-U-D-E.

We planned a family dinner out on Saturday night. We snuggled into our cozy corner booth, with Tucker in his high chair and Tyler in his carseat, wedged into the booth beside me.

Shortly after we were seated, a larger group was seated at the table next to us. We sat back-to-back, in seemingly close quarters. The restaurant was crowded and noisy, so things felt a bit claustrophobic. There was a time in my life when I would have considered that degree of livelihood to be enticing, a clear sign that we had chosen a popular dinner hour, and we are thereby popular as well.

But when I really want some time with my husband, or even family time that entails spilled jars of baby food, lots and lots of baby wipes, and smashed animal crackers... well, then I don't necessarily want to yell across the table to my dinner date.

But hey, it worked out that way. And it would have been fine. Except.

Except for the woman who was seated at the table behind us. It was a family with four adults and a little girl of about three. She was with her parents and her grandparents, who had apparently just stepped off an airplane. It appeared that they were in town to wait for the arrival of a new grandbaby expected to arrive any day, judging by the looks of the mother, who was great with child.

It seems like I know a lot about them, doesn't it? I'm telling you: close quarters.

Anyway, we had gone about our plans for a fun family dinner, when the grandmother turned around in her booth and said, "Oh, look, Victoria! There's a baby sitting right behind you! Look! Right here. See? The baby! Oh, what a cute baby! What is his name??"

"His name is Tyler," I said, with a smile. I aim to be polite to everyone, especially people who compliment my children, but I had no idea what a can of worms I was about to open. Keep in mind, she was sitting right behind me, so our shoulders were touching, and she could have easily kissed me on the cheek.

"Oh! Tyler! That's my son's name! Victoria calls him Ty-Ty. His name is Tyler, Victoria. He's a little Ty-Ty. Say hi to Ty-Ty! Want to sing to him? Let's sing to him!"

And Grandma and Victoria proceeded to sing many, many verses of Itsy Bitsy Spider (or Eensy Weensy Spider, depending on which singer I focused on) to my son. Tucker was captured by the tableside entertainment as well, and both boys watched with their mouths hanging open. Usually they smile at such attempts, but I think they were as incredulous as we were.

Truly, even that much might have been okay, had it come to a screeching halt. But that's not all.

Anytime Tyler started to fuss, Grandma would turn around and say, "Oh, Ty-Ty! What's wrong, Ty-Ty?? What's wrong with the baby? What does he need? What do you think, Victoria? Should we sing to him again??"

Oh, dear heavens.

Perhaps they meant well. Perhaps they didn't mean to totally intrude on our family night, and perhaps she had no idea how unbelievably distracting she was, such that Robb and I couldn't think of a single thing to talk about, since we knew she was close enough to hear every word and might start to sing again.

Perhaps. I really am a social person, I am my social father's daughter, and I enjoy a good conversation with a new friend. But c'mon... even I have my limits.



Carmen said...

You know Tricia, in cases such as these, I find it perfectly acceptable to break wind or belch loudly in granny's face. If she doesn't get the hint,

Carmen said...

(cont'd) then there's not much left you can do. Of course, this granny might pull a "Willy Wonka" and start a belching contest. It's a loose loose situation! Tell the waitress your new good friends here would love to pick up the tab and get your bottoms out as fast as possible. Or, give Tuck something you know makes him sickly and turn him into "baby projectile-vomitting tommy gun" and blast off on granny. Small sacrifice to make and the Williford's go home satisfied (though, Tuck will prolly need to eat later.) Anyway, I hope none of this helps but it's another side of the coin. Life flys by so quickly!