They Did a Bad, Bad Thing

If there's one thing Curtis and I love to do, it's go out to eat. Unfortunately, the more kids we have - and the older they get - the more difficult it becomes. Not only because they're beyond the age of sleeping quietly in their carriers while we eat in peace, but because now they're starting to eat a little more. And it's a crappy middle-of-the-road amount: they eat too much to share ('cause I'm stingy with my food, y'all), but not enough to warrant their own order. Still, for Colin at least, we (grudgingly) get him a separate meal. Which means it's more expensive - cha-ching! Kids' meals may be cheaper than their adult counterparts, but I still hate paying $5 for him to dismantle his cheeseburger and eat three fries.

Not too long ago, we went to a lunch buffet at a local restaurant. As we stood in line to pay, we scrutinized the big sign hanging over the cash register. "Kids 4 and up - $4.99," it said, and then in huge screaming letters: "KIDS 3 AND UNDER EAT FREE!"

I saw the look on Curtis's face even before his eyes met mine, and I knew exactly what he was thinking. Colin's only been four for two months, and everyone always thinks he's younger anyway because he's not all that big. Plus he eats like a bird ... hardly worth the $5 we'd pay for his buffet. My inner "good girl" (yes, she exists) cringed at the thought of lying to the restaurant peeps, but my inner tightwad quickly silenced her. So I just looked casually away, pretending to be otherwise occupied, when the cashier asked Curtis how old Colin was.

"Almost four," Curtis lied through his teeth. I was desperately hoping Colin wouldn't hear, because I just knew he'd dispute that statement. Loudly.

Sure enough, before the girl could even push a button on the register, Colin piped up helpfully: "But I'm already four!"

Curtis gave a tight-lipped smile and sort of pushed Colin behind him - but taking subtle hints obviously isn't Colin's strong suit. "Daddy, I'm already four!" he shrieked, in case the cooks back in the kitchen hadn't heard.

"Okay, son," Curtis mumbled and laughed nervously, glancing at the cashier with a contrived "I'm-just-appeasing-my-kid" look.

"BUT I'M ALREADY FOUR!!!!" Colin's high-pitched whine rose above the crowd and hung there in the air. At this point, the situation was unbelievably awkward. Curtis was trying his best to be nonchalant and stick to his story, despite feeling like a total idiot; I was trying my best not to laugh; and Colin was still insisting at the top of his lungs - to anyone within a three-mile radius - that Daddy had gotten his age wrong.

The girl finished ringing up our meal ticket and when we got to the table, we looked at it and saw that she had let him slide with the three-year-old rate - even though it had been pitifully, painfully obvious, at least in our perception, that we were straight-up lying. We felt so bad at that point that we ended up leaving a tip that was equivalent to what we would've paid for his meal - especially since, much to our surprise, Colin ended up eating like a grown man anyway. And we felt even worse thinking about what kind of an example we'd set for our son ... but we hadn't intended him to hear. We were just trying to save a little money! We're in a recession, damn it!

Like all stories worth reading, this one comes with a moral: don't try to short-change somebody, 'cause you'll pay extra for it in the end.


  1. Kids never let you get away with anything!

    I laughed at loud, and since I'm at work I just had to make up a story as to why I was laughing. I don't think anyone believed me!

  2. LOL. I have a similar story.
    yesterday I went to go look at a new apartment. Technically it isn't new though because two years ago I lived in this exact apartment. When I moved away the landlord rented to this woman, April. Yesterday I went to go "view" the apartment and the current tenant, April, had no idea that I was the previous tenant. She has an 8 year old daughter who was at the apartment. I kept it on the DL that I was familiar with the place because I wanted to see the condition it was in. So as April is trying to 'sell' the apartment to me, her daughter is screaming "don't forget to tell her about the crack in the floor," "don't forget to tell her about the leaky faucet!!" Etc. Of course I had already known about these things, but it was funny anyways. I could feel, physically and visually, how unappreciative April was of her daughters indiscretion. LOL

  3. Bahahahahaha! Love it! My kids are so tall for their age and even when they were 3 everyone thought I was lying.

  4. LOL! Oh I've been there and done that. Jaiden just turned 4 on July 15 so I don't think it was that horrible. He usually eats more ice cream than anything else....

  5. Girl! You musta missed class the day that was taught. The right way is for you and the kids not to even be in the line at that point...

    Today's Lesson:

    1. Depending on number and age of children, one parent holds infant. This should always be the one that pays because the baby can't talk.
    2. Other parent coincidentally either A. takes older children to the restroom or B. takes older children to look at stupid stuffed animal vending machine with slippery claws that never lets you grab anything.
    (Option A is cheaper)
    3. Keep one eye on husband, one eye on child(ren) and when you see him put his wallet in back pocket, move forward and pick up tray, it is safe to proceed back in line.
    4. Never look at or smile at cashier and always pretend to be in conversation with husband as you approach. (Eye contact could cause conversation and you MUST NOT engage. One parent must remain the "innocent" parent so said innocent parent can ensure management that husband made mistake)

    Enjoy your lunch!

  6. You're so funny but you made a good point with the "moral to the story" - don't cheat so you can enjoy your meal and not have ulcers. I used to stand in the shower (fully clothed) so my son could tell whoever it was on the phone that I didn't want to talk to that I was in the shower. He HATED lying for me even tho (technically) it wasn't a lie. I had to change my evil ways *sigh* - 'course now he doesn't lie at all - so... BUT he still remembers me standing in the shower. STILL talks about it 20 years later. Man kids have a steel-trap memory of the things we want them to forget. I did not inhale, really son!

  7. Hilarious!!! I think every parent tries this at least once(well I did,anyways). My kids are spot on for busting me out in front of others; family or strangers their timing is impecable.

    Sassy Chica

    stoping by from sits...HAVE A FABULOUS FRIDAY!!

  8. Where have I been, Rita? How is it that you have 5 new posts and I haven't read any of them? It is amazing how behind you get when you have to actually DO work. It sucks. I am not a big fan. So sorry that your little man tried to bust you. But I definitely understand getting upset about spending that much money on a kid plate when on an any given day there is no way that you child will eat it.

  9. Oh, my kids would do the exact same thing.

    We were tempted to lie about Tommy's age at Golden Corral once but I knew he'd shriek, "But I'm not that age!" just like your son.

    My daughter also eats like a bird. But if we don't buy her her own meal she gets all insulted and huffy.

  10. LOL, leave it to Colin to bust you guys.....loudly! And besides, your momma taught you better anyway! ;o)

  11. HAHAHA...this made me crack up. Glad everyone at this house is awake or they would be thanks to my bellowing over this story.

  12. lol! you just can't win with kids! xx

  13. It's so funny - I was just chatting to a friend about this exact same thing yesterday. She took her child to a zoo and the entrance fee was she tried to lie, but the small child cottoned on and they ended up confessing all...I'm glad for your own sake that the waitress let it slide...could have been shame-faced! But good story though x


Post a Comment

Commenting makes you big and strong! Okay, maybe just strong. Okay, so it's only your fingers. But still ...

Popular Posts