Day 6: Those Days

We went out for dinner at a restaurant last night, and while we were waiting for our food to arrive I noticed a group of people getting seated at a nearby table.  The women all carried babies and diaper bags.  The men carried child carriers and more diaper bags.  There were bottles and burp clothes and bibs getting tossed to and fro.  The restaurant’s servers arrived with high chairs as the men tried to store the baby carriers under the table.  The couples jostled about, trading seats and exchanging various pieces of baby gear.  I gestured in their direction and said to my husband, “Remember those days, babe?”

He smiled knowingly, and I sat smugly watching my two quiet children color happily.

Until the food arrived.

The cheese on Maddie’s pizza was too melty and Katie’s grilled cheese was yucky and the fries had something on them and the garlic bread I offered Katie was gross and Maddie had more food than Katie and why couldn’t they have pop and please stop kicking me under the table, Katie and yes, you can have a sip of my pop but don’t stir it like that, you’re spilling it and quiet down, Maddie, people are eating and don’t tease your sister like that and please, let’s just pay the bill and go home.

I took a deep breath and glanced in the direction of the group I had noticed previously.  The moms sat engaged in conversation with each other, bouncing their happy babies on their knees.


I’m writing a Slice of Life Story every day for the month of March as part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge. See more at Two Writing Teachers.



23 thoughts on “Day 6: Those Days

  1. Your slice made me laugh. With three kids in college, I remember both of the stages you described and many others as well. You did a great job setting up your reader at the beginning and then your non-punctuated quote-studded paragraph sent us tumbling into restaurant-meals-with-kids madness. From my distance, I truly enjoyed the ride–though I am sorry your dinner didn’t unfold as planned.

  2. I love your long-winded paragraph. You can just fell the tension building! Yes, sometimes it just easier to eat dinner at home. Better luck next time!

  3. Makes me smile. There are things I do not miss about my babies, but with each year comes something to contend with that is new. I’ve missed your writing. Glad I stopped by today!

  4. This is too funny! I felt like I was sitting at your table with you. You described my children (of several years ago) to a T! Every stage brought joys and challenges. What a great ‘slice’ to bring back memories, and invite me to embrace the NOW.

  5. I love the pacing of this piece! Isn’t it funny how each stage has its own challenges that frustrate you in the moment but almost leave you aching to have them back when they’re gone?

  6. Too funny… parenting is humbling every single day and in every single stage. Just when you think you got it…. you’ve only just begun. Keep laughing and enjoy every minute!

  7. Just when you think you’ve got this thing called parenting down, those kids throw you a curve ball! This piece made me laugh out loud–thanks for sharing!

  8. Oh, the neverending paragraph clinched this piece. Thanks for taking me back to “those” years. I can only say it does get better–dinner out with my 22 year old and 17 year old last night was downright convivial!

  9. Reminds me of the saying, the grass is always greener on the other side. The grass was green at your table when you saw all the movement and scrambling with the adults and then things changed… Wait until you have teenagers….

  10. Loved this slice of smugness! We rarely ate out in “nice” restaurants. But we still love to tell the story of our son (now 31) who didn’t like it when the hostess told us where to sit. He also didn’t like waiting so long for his food. Made us realize we needed to do something besides fast food occasionally.

  11. It’s often a surprise how things go when “out” with small children. I take the grand-girls to Noodles often, and while Ingrid is content with the lovely mac ‘n cheese, Imogene is often not happy, too few meatballs, the sauce is too hot, she’s not really hungry right now, and on. The way you wrote led us down the garden path from packhorses when babies to kids who have opinions whether we like it or not. Sometimes better to stay at home as others wrote. Thanks Dana, always a pleasure to read about your girls.

  12. Was touched and amused by your slice – because I’ve been on both sides and also with crying baby! We do make it through and now my not-so young twenty/thirty year olds are a joy to eat with.

  13. Laughed at your post today. I remember those days. And I don’t want to be smug at all…with two adult children you don’t know what you are going to get! Enjoy this time. It passes so fast!

  14. I had a very similar experience today in a restaurant! Except my husband wasn’t with me to help me! My parents were, but it wasn’t the same. And I also talked with my dad how kids are awful at all ages, it just changes! So while it seems like it’s so great to get past the baby stage with all that baby crap, then that crap just changes to different crap, lol. It’s a good thing they are cute for a long time… 🙂

  15. Great twist! Pros and cons of all ages, I guess (and I’m expecting that will be true even when they’re grown and out of the house).

    Thanks for the comment on my beach story. I’m so tired that I couldn’t even tell if it was any good, so I’m glad to hear you liked it!

  16. Ahh yes, I remember those days too, then my thoughts are interrupted as food flies past my face. I got a crack out of this. And the choice to leave all the craziness in one paragraph, perfection!

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