I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve taken my twin toddlers to a restaurant. The twins, known more commonly as the Terror Squad, are not ideal dinner dates. Admittedly, this is totally our fault, as parents. A mega parenting failure. I didn’t bring them to a restaurant until after their first birthday. A lot of factors went into that decision, but that’s another story for another day. The bottom line is that now they are AWFUL in restaurants. So, this is my apology.
If you happen to be out for an early dinner or a little home-town breakfast and are greeted by my kid tossing his sippy cup or crayon at you, I’m sorry.
A word of advice: don’t pick up and return whatever they throw at you. Ignore them. If you engage, you’re trapped. It’s the world’s worst game. They throw, you pick up, they throw, you pick up. It never ends. I realize they’re cute, but you. must. resist. I cannot save you if you ignore this advice.
If your table is close enough to hear my kid screeching because he’s confined in that wooden highchair, I’m sorry. He is, in fact, part velociraptor.
If you’re trying to read your menu and a chicken nugget bounces off the back of your head, I’m sorry. They always end up dropping or throwing more food than they eat. It’s like watching money disappear.
If you’re the server… oh man. Please know that I do my best to clean up the mess. They aren’t actually little baby jerks. (Well maybe a little, after all, they are two.) I will totally leave a big tip because I realize dealing with us sucks. Twin B doesn’t have the greatest fine motor skills, so there’s a lot of spilling. Maybe I’ll just start bringing a hand-held vacuum in my diaper bag. That would probably be better than crouching under the table and using 50 tiny paper napkins to pick up all the rice and mandarin oranges the Terror Squad dropped (or threw).
I remember being in a chain restaurant for dinner and the Terror Squad was doing their thing and I look up and see that there is a toddler at the table across from us. I had no clue he was there. Just quietly eating his food. Mind-blown. His parents were probably discussing the parents of the crazy twins. And that’s justified. Sometimes I can’t believe it either. Sometimes I can’t even believe I have twins.
The energy that bounces between them is impressive and mind-boggling. I’ve heard other twin parents talk about twins having their own language, or needing to sleep next to each other, or always holding hands. My twins don’t do any of that. In fact, Twin A would be totally happy being an only child. But my twins do have one superpower. The Energy Share. They feed off of each other and somehow, it’s impossible to control. I swear its amplified in restaurants. Maybe because it’s a pretty overstimulating environment. Or maybe because they’re excited to actually be in a restaurant after Mean Mommy has kept them at home eating meals at the family dining room table for the last 2 years. Whatever it is, I’m not sure how to control it. I bring snacks. I bring sippy cups. I bring books. I bring crayons. I bring small toys. I will sing, I will draw, I will do anything to keep that energy in check. But it never works. Everything I bring gets thrown, the snacks are finished before the food has arrived, and the twins get bored. Or they catch someone’s attention. Or they start fighting over a book…even though I brought two of the exact same book. Whatever the cause, I am sorry restaurant goers and servers alike, for my slip into optimism that results in me bringing my Terror Squad out to dinner.
I always think, “maybe next time will be better.” Spoiler alert: it never is. A few weeks ago, we were supposed to go breakfast in the morning before the Super Bowl, but Twin B was sick. Maybe that would’ve been the time. Maybe I missed it. Maybe next time will be the time. I’ll keep trying, but until we’ve got it down, I’m sorry if you happen to get seated next to us in a Chili’s and I totally won’t be offended if you switch tables. Maybe I’ll come hide at your table. Order extra fries just in case.