Thursday, January 22, 2009

Scenes from Panera

This morning, we spent way too much time at home. We were waiting for Joel to wake up, then we were waiting some more because the Comcast people were able to come to our house for a last-minute service call.

As we waited, Owen decided that it was time to do every annoying thing in his arsenal, including:

1) Taking a bite out of an apple, then putting it back in the fruit bowl. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

2) Going upstairs and monkeying around with Joel's humidifier so that it spews more mist than any child needs.

3) Pulling diaper wipes out of the container and then smashing them back in.

4) Grabbing the Clorox Wipes in an attempt to do pull them all out of the container and then smash them back in.

5) Insist that I sit with my legs spread wide. Calling the space between my legs "his bathtub." Then insisting on "jumping" into the bathtub---basically hurling his thirty-two pound frame in my general direction---over and over again.

6) Pulling grapes out of the fridge, eating them, and leaving the stems scattered around the house. When his mother demands, in increasingly shrill tones, to put the stems in the trash can, he simply responds, "No Mommy, I'm not going to do that."

I was ready to pull out my hair and slap my kid's hand if he touched another damn thing. It was time to get out of the house.

I loaded up the car with the trash and the boys for a dump run, and figured that we would then go wherever God takes us. As long as it's not our house, it works for me. We thus end up at Panera Bread.

Here are some scenes from Panera:

There's a college-aged guy eating lunch with a girl. I can tell that he thinks that they are friends, but she's really into him. She smiles a little too wide and nods eagerly at everything he says. It's too loud for me to eavesdrop, but I do hear him say, "When choosing between man and robots, one must choose man every time." I disagree. I would feel a lot more comfortable having a robot instead of a fellow human being clean my house.

There are two sheriffs eating lunch. One is in a shirt and tie, wearing his badge on one of those chain/lanyard things. He has his gun in a holster. It shocks me a bit. I think to myself, "He could kill somebody right now."

A woman next to me drops her pen. She says, "I can't do my crossword without a pen." I tell her that I'm impressed that she uses a pen instead of a pencil. She makes a face and says that she never uses a pencil to do her crossword. I'm not sure if she's being a show-off or if she simply has a pencil aversion.

A woman is eating her salad one-handed, holding her baby with the other. I ask her the age of her baby. It turns out her daughter is almost Joel's age. I comment that Joel looks like a monster compared to her daughter--"She's such a peanut," I say.

She agrees, and shares that her daughter came early and spent twelve days in the NICU. I tell her that Joel was in the NICU, too. "Sucks, huh," she says.

"Yup," I answer. NICU veterans are everywhere.

It makes me happy that one of the girls that works the counter at Panera has an Australian accent. In my mind, I call her "Claire," like the character on Lost. It also makes me happy that Panera has caffeine free Diet Pepsi as a fountain drink. It makes me wonder if Panera is owned by Mormons.

Sated by our lunch, the three of us drive back home for afternoon naps. Owen is saved from himself for another day, thanks to the healing power of carbohydrates.

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