Hi there. I'm at the New Wave IHOP, one of Laurel's landmarks, and the site of several very significant events in my life and the life of our little family. It was here Eric and I spent several of the hours of our first post-college date, here I wrote a journal entry that was the first writing I ever shared, here we celebrated Ian's first birthday and, I think, Sandy's 40th.
And right now, it's where Ian is sleeping. He is so completely laid out that I am tempted to hold a butterknife under his nose, to make sure his breath fogs it up.
I have finished my crepes (and a certain percentage of his 'kids eat free' pancake) and written in my paper journal. And now i'm thumbin' away on my Blackberry. Next: a few more rows on the shawl I started (and started over, and started over again.) Can I watch Hulu on this thing? If I can catch up on Glee while this waitress bring me iced tea, we may never have to leave.
My original intent was to confess what a crap parent I am, happy to let my kid sleep, sweat-pasted to a vinyl restaurant booth, while I people-watch and write and swill iced tea, possibly until well after dark.
Restaurants (inexpensive ones) (I'm actually guessing, my experience in fancy restaurants remains limited) are such an interesting study in family dynamics. Back when Eric used to do a call-in radio show, and sometimes meet clients afterwards, I spent many happy hours in the deli near the radio station. I'd munch on pickles and pretend to read a library book...and evesdrop. Perhaps this made me the neglectful mother I am today. Er, tonight.
The dad at the next booth is also thumbing madly, cradling his head in the other hand. His infant is awake, but can't do much.
And someone at a nearby table is digging into some unidentifiable entree that smells very unfortunate. I'm not sure the quality of peoplewatching is a fair trade for having to smell that. (This from a woman who routinely roasts a pound of Brussels sprouts for just herself.)
So to recap: evesdropper, cook (and enthusiastic eater) of stinky vegetables, helps herself to her sleeping child's pancake, loves indefensible 80s pop music, Mother of the year.
Good tipper, though.