Back when I was working, my friend K and I would often go out for lunch. One of our favorite places to eat was surrounded by shops and so you'd often see people who were out shopping stop in for lunch. I worked in an upper middle class area that had lots of moms who stayed home with their kids. We'd often eat out and see groups of these moms meeting for lunch with their babies and preschoolers. Think 3 moms and at least 6 kids under 4. Their tables were loud. This drove K crazy, especially when we had to wait on a table. She's childless and thought it was rude of moms who "could eat at any time of day" to go out to eat during a time when working people had to eat at a specific lunch hour (11:30-12:30. She thought they should wait to eat or at least pick a more kid friendly restaurant (basically fast food with a playground, lol). She would never get annoyed by kids being around when we were at one of those places. But when we were at a place where business people dominated the clientele, she was annoyed by the presence of children, especially children who screamed or got upset. While she was annoyed by their presence, I was always a little bit jealous that these moms were out with their kids instead of working. Seeing them made me miss my kids, who were in daycare while I was working.
Yesterday, I took the kids to the McWane Science Center for Pirate Day. Normally we either eat before we go, or we eat at the cafe inside the museum. But since yesterday was a special event, I wanted to get there early so we didn't eat on the way. When we got there, it was very crowded, so I didn't think eating inside the museum was a good idea. I had a coupon for a free kids meal at a nearby restaurant and decided we would walk there for lunch.
When we got there, I quickly realized that I was the one there with kids. I was also the only adult eating in the restaurant who was not wearing a suit, skirt, or high heels. To make matters worse, I had to ask a man to move his chair so that I could get my stroller through the aisle to a table. We ate right at 12 and sat at the last table for 4 that was available. Jaxon screamed like 4 times in frustration at not being allowed to have my entire plate on his stroller tray. We stood out. Really, really stood out.
It's one of my favorite places to eat and I haven't had their food since before I had Jaxon, so I was really enjoying my food and was glad that the big kids were behaving. But as I looked around, I realized I had become that person K used to hate. A person I used to be a little bit jealous of.
And I smiled.