Moxie Mom On Life and Kids

MOXIE MOM on Life & Kids

Ten Things…

I am working on an article on Bellingham, so I have been researching my head off. It’s kind of fun (and weird) to look at your own town through a visitor’s eyes.

Ten things I’ve learned:

1.    We did have the highest library usage in the state but we’ve slipped a little      recently. We’re still up there, though.
2.    Everyone loves the American Museum of Radio and Electricity.
3.    The self-tour of Western’s outdoor sculptures is worth doing.
4.    The Lakeway Inn’s bar serves giant martinis.
5.    Ralf’s Bakery has great Bavarian pretzels (I knew this but I recently reconfirmed) and is conveniently located next to the Farmers market.
6.    Ideal is reputed to be a cool store. I haven’t been there yet.
7.    The Bellingham/Whatcom Visitors’ Bureau has a great visitors’ office over on Potter St. near Fred Meyer. Stop in if you never have.
8.    D’Anna’s is a popular Italian restaurant.
9.    Bellingham is second only to Santa Fe, NM, for the number of resident artists.
10.    The newest Avenue Bread location on James St. has awesome sandwiches (okay, this was just lunch, not research, but you have to go there).

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Friday Night Dinner

You’d think on a Friday night when everyone is ready for a break from the usual dinner fare that choosing a restaurant would be easy. You’d think.

For a long time, Curt and I chose where we’d eat and then we’d have to endure the distress of our children because they had other ideas. More often than not, Curt wanted something ethnic. I  love ethnic, but my goal was for everyone to be happy (read: kids happy), so I wanted a restaurant with predictable fare. And the kids never want anything ethnic. You can already see the dynamic setting up.

So I came up with the brilliant idea of taking turns. The first time it seemed like it worked, but on Friday Ty was unhappy because I said it was Leah’s turn to choose, and he couldn’t believe he didn’t have any say. I told him he could choose next time. No consolation whatsoever. Actually, Ty would prefer not to go out at all, which I know (and which he stated on Friday evening more than once), but I’m not prepared to stay home and pull something out of the proverbial hat just because he doesn’t want to go out. Because the other thing I know about him is he gets through his tears and always has a good time. I can’t remember the last time he didn’t manage to pull it together.

The other issue that clouds our dinner decision making, and I’m sympathetic, is Ty’s tendency to crash (blood sugar, I mean). He crashes and cries, and then he’s in no shape to go out and manage the various parts to going out: parking, walking, ordering, and waiting for the meal. Crashing is actually not a tendency for him—it’s a fact of life. Every day. Right around dinner time. We know this about him and we pack snacks to be eaten on the way to the restaurant. But still we have to endure his tearful pleas for us to stay home.

So on Friday, no one can decide who’s supposed to decide, even though we keep saying it’s Leah, and Ty is upset that anybody gets to decide without his input. His input would be fine, but it directly opposes what Leah wants, and, not surprisingly, she doesn’t really care what he wants. Curt is ready to throw in the towel, and so am I, except that someone will have to cook at home and neither of us wants to. Secretly, I would like to go to La Fiamma, but we’ve just been there, and Curt would prefer to go somewhere new, and anyway it’s about 6:00 and the line at La Fiamma will be too long, especially for the likes of our low-blood-sugar son (stay tuned for my review on why I like this place so much). Frankly, I don’t care where we eat as long as I can have a beer.

So, we’re driving around on a beautiful evening, when we really should be on bikes (but who would bike with a kid who has to be picked up and put in the car?), and we have no idea where to eat. Bandito’s, Leah’s choice (or was it Ty’s in the end? I really can’t remember.) is too busy. All the tables are taken. So I muscle in and suggest Taco Lobo, just around the corner. I love this place almost as much as La Fiamma, so I’m secretly pleased that my choice might be the one that wins. We agree we have to check first on how crowded it is. But Ty’s beginning to wipe away his tears, and Curt and Leah look a little perkier.

And what do you know? Taco Lobo is not too crowded. We’re all happy. Leah gets her veggie burrito, I get my carne asada tacos, and Ty gets the child’s plate that seems to satisfy him. Curt gets something with pork. But most importantly I get my beer. Life is suddenly looking pretty good.

If only it didn’t have to be so painful along the way. Suggestions for equitable restaurant choosing welcome here.  


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