The unedited "day four" of Do French Fries Make You Strong?
3425 Poplar Avenue
Kids eat for $.99 every Thursday (Unless they select "big kid" entrees, then it's $1.99)
Satchel (age 4) Kid's Meal (fried chicken, mashed potatoes, broccoli, pudding, drink) $.99
Jiro (age 2) Kid's Meal (fried chicken, macaroni & cheese, broccoli, cupcake, drink) $.99
My Dilly Dish (fried catfish, green beans, black eyed peas, roll) $5.99
Andria caught wind of my "kids eat free" spree and emailed me to see what I had in store for Thursday. Unsure of what exactly Piccadilly was, she asked, "Do they have country fried steak?" I told her it was a very good possibility and she replied that she and Miss M (age 3) would meet us at 6:00pm. At the boys' school I ran into our mutual friend, Shiloh, and invited her and her daughter, Lydia (age 2), along too. The more the merrier!
We arrived to find the place bustling. Lots of kids, lots of seniors, lots of everybody really. The line for food was long, but not too long. Satchel immediately ran up to the glass to see what treasures were lurking behind it. Remembering our experience at the San Francisco Bread Company, I said, "Don't touch the food!" He pointed at the black eyed peas and said, "Ooh I want some of those beans!" Great!
I grabbed a rolling highchair and actually convinced Jiro to get in it. I wasn't quite sure how I was going to manage two monkeys and three meals. It didn't take Jiro long to realize he was the only monkey in captivity. He protested angrily and despite my pleas, refused to stay put.
Once I got him out, he had a bird's eye view of the treats just a few feet away. Andria, Shiloh, and I all looked at each other and simultaneously groaned, "Why is blue Jell-O the first thing in line!?" Moments later, thanks to the very excited monkeys swarming us, we saw that cupckaes with pink and blue icing and sprinkles were second in line.
I had no intention of blowing our free meals by being coerced into getting extras (like blue Jell-O and cupcakes). I asked the woman behind the counter if dessert was included with the free kids' meals and amazingly she said yes. Jiro wanted both a cupcake and a Jell-O and was pissed that I was making him choose. After much back and forth, he went with the cupcake. Satchel happily chose chocolate pudding. (Miss M got a pink cupcake and Lydia got something really fancy and fluffy with a "no sugar added" sign stuck in it.)
As we made our way towards the entrees, Satchel immediately zoned in on the fried chicken. "What about fish?" I asked hopefully. "No, chicken!" he said. Then Jiro piped in and said, "I want chicken!" The server said they were out of drumsticks, but neither monkey cared. Thighs it was. Just as I was about to order the last piece of Tilapia, the server looked over at Shiloh and took her order instead. "I'll have the Tilapia," she said. That left me with the fried catfish. (It actually looked really good--lightly battered and not greasy at all.)
Jiro looked at me and said, "I need to go pee pee." Uh-oh. "Can you hold it?" I asked. He nodded yes, but two seconds later said no. (Having had officially declared him potty trained the week before, I had brought on a slew of accidents, so I was wary of actually making him wait.) I looked around at the scene and wondered how I was going to manage. "Shiloh, do you think you could order the sides for me while I take Jiro to the bathroom?"
"Sure, no problem," she said.
What a saint!
I rushed Jiro to the bathroom as fast as I could and got us back in line in time to get rolls and drinks. (Satchel was so fascinated by the Piccadilly process I don't think he even knew I was gone.) Before letting the monkeys get a fountain drink I asked if they were included in the free kids' meals and once again I was told yes. What a deal! When we got to the end of the line a nice woman was waiting to help me carry our trays to a table.
Really, everything was almost too good to be true.
The waitress scooted tables together for us, took away the empty trays, and even got me a glass of water since I failed to get myself a drink. Then as if things couldn't get any better, both monkeys sat down and started eating. Quietly and happily. Shiloh and Lydia also seemed to be rather content. On my right it was another story. Miss M was losing her mind over the fact that she couldn't eat her pink cupcake right away. She was sobbing as though she had lost her best friend. It was really sad, but I couldn't help being happy that my two monkeys were behaving. And eating.
Jiro really wasn't interested in anything besides his chicken. Once it was gone, he set his sights on the cupcake. He had a couple licks of icing and then decided it wasn't all that great afterall. Then he started looking at me with pleading eyes and mouthing a word I could not understand. After a few minutes of me going, "Huh? Wha?" he grabbed my hand and led me back to the food line. All the way to the beginning. Where the blue Jell-O was. "I want jelly!" he said. Reluctantly, I grabbed a blue one, but he sent me back for green.
Once back at the table, a man came over and gave everyone a balloon. Satchel was clearly making up for the week's lack of nutritional dinners. He ate his chicken, all of his mashed potatoes (and gravy), and broccoli. Then he ate half of my green beans and almost all of the black eyed peas I'd ordered at the last minute, remembering his initial request. Then he looked at Shiloh and said, "Can I have some of your salad?" It was amazing. Finally he ate his pudding. When he was done, he calmly said, "I need to poop now."
Jiro and I escorted him to the bathroom. Shiloh and Lydia came soon after. (This left Andria at the table with Miss M in her lap desperately trying to cut her chicken fried steak with one hand.) Jiro busied himself washing his hands and I busied myself checking out the tween girls at the sink. They were in their soccer uniforms. One had shiney blue cleats and the other had white cleats with glittery dots on them. Cleats were never that pretty when I played soccer.
When Satchel was finally done, we headed back to the table where I was amazed to see that Andria and Miss M were still eating. They hadn't even made it to dessert! (No wonder Andria is so skinny!) As I looked out the window and saw the darkness descending, I said, "You're going to have to get that to go or we'll never make it to the playground."