Last night, some friends here in Iceland invited us to go out to dinner. This was a pretty exciting event since we had not yet gone to a restaurant here together and we immediately began coaching the kids on good restaurant etiquette. Anticipation was high and the kids both got dressed up, picked out necklaces and bracelets for the big event.
When we arrived and walked into the serene, candle-lit restaurant, immediately Colby and looked at each other and said at the same time, “Oh no…Were we supposed to get a babysitter?” Unsure, we walked through the quaint, fancy restaurant where our hosts were waiting. They insisted that they had intended for the kids to come, but it felt out-of-place to have small kids in such a nice, adult environment. We had another talk about how they needed to whisper and not interrupt the peaceful environment.
Things were going well, and they were being respectful and courteous as everyone ordered. The girls had finally decided on splitting a cheeseburger when my two year old began to whine. Sipping on water seemed to appease her for awhile, but then she began to complain that she had to throw up. I patiently explained to everyone about Darcy’s culture shock. (Mom, this is called a link and you can click on it).
I’m not sure why Darcy always tells us that she has to throw up, but we just hand her a barf bag and go on with what we’re doing. This has been going on since we’ve moved here.
After a few minutes of hearing this repetitive phrase, I finally excused myself and took Darcy and my other daughter, Haley, to the bathroom so Darcy could “throw up.” Darcy stood with her head hanging down in the trash can while Haley took a potty break and had this conversation:
“Darcy, you don’t have to throw up…”
“YES. I. DO. HAY-LEE!!”
“No you don’t. You always SAY that you have to throw up, but you never do.”
“But I DO.”
“You are lying, Darcy.”
After one more stern talk where they were firmly instructed –for the love of God– TO NOT MAKE A SCENE, we walked out from the bathroom to the dining area where I made eye-contact with everyone from our table and winked as if to say “We took care of it”.
At that exact moment, the most horrific scene unfolded as Darcy ERUPTED with vomit all over the dining room floor. I watched, paralyzed with disbelief, as each regurgitation produced a splattering onto the antique chairs, the table legs, and the carpet.
Looking back, most mothers I know would have quickly picked up the child and rushed her to the bathroom after the first splash, but not me…I just stood frozen watching the wincing looks of the customers and the ghost-white faces of our hosts. Everything went in slow-motion as it just kept coming…one, two times.
Colby rushed over.
You could hear moans from the audience as she continued a fourth and fifth time. I literally just stood there and watched it all; I had no idea what to do.
Now, maybe this would not have been such a big deal if we were at a loud Applebee’s or a bustling Wal-Mart where Joe the Janitor shows up quickly to mop up the mess. But here we were at Madonna’s Ristorante where the only server they have is having to leap over the puddle to serve the other customers. He handed Colby a bucket and a rag, and might as well given him a sandwich board that read, “Yes, that was my child that just ruined your pleasurable dining experience.”
I put the dripping Darcy in the stroller and ran her home where we could escape the shame…the whole time hearing, “Mommy…you didn’t BEYEVE me!”
My favorite memory of the evening was Haley’s reaction to the whole event:
“I. CAN. NOT. BELIEVE. IT! Darcy was NOT lying. I was lying. I was LYING about LYING.”