Thank goodness for restaurants, right? I mean, well grow tired of cooking every now and then. The sit-down setting, however fancy (or not), gives everyone the chance to re-connect over food that isn't cooked or cleaned up by any family member (my favorite part) while contributing to the health of the economy. What's not to love? Turns out, a lot, actually. There are some really gross things every mom does when she's at a restaurant with her kids that I didn't realize I did. In fact, it took a recent trip to our local Steak N' Shake to open my eyes. Apologies to those who witnessed my travesties.
Not every meal out ends up a spectacle, of course (and thankfully). However, when they do it's definitely because of all the gross mom stuff I've done (and the gross contributions of my kids, too). At Steak N' Shake, I didn't think about how it looked as I "cut" my son's hot dog with my fingers (we had no silverware at the time), and I didn't think about what might happen if my greasy hands somehow lost control of the meat, letting it fly through the air onto the floor of a nearby customer.
What I didn't do was wipe the hot dog off and lay it back on the plate (because eww) but still, I acknowledge civilization has come a long way and it's not publicly acceptable to tear food a apart with our bare hands. At least my picky eater son actually ate his damn meal (something that doesn't always happen). With that, here are a few of the gross things moms do when eating out with kids that we either don't care you notice, or don't notice ourselves. Retrospect is a cruel beast.
They Take A Bite Then Offer Up The Rest
Food sharing is common among parents and children, only because sometimes our kids want something we chose (or vice versa). There have been a few (read: many) times I've tasted my food then offered the remainder of the very same bite to my toddler, or even the other way around. Gross? Yep. Do I mind? Nope.
They Catch Food That's Spit Out
I can't be the only gross mom out there who holds out her hand to catch the food her kids have, for absolutely no reason, decided they all of a sudden hate and need to spit out, right? I'm pretty sure this is a thing every mom does (whether admitted or not), because the alternative is letting said food tumble onto clothes and/or the table in the worst way possible.
They Sniff A Butt At The Table
My son has issues with constipation so he's gassy all the damn time. We've tried talking to him about this, err, problem and how to deal with it when we're in public. However, sometimes it happens at critical moments (like right when food is delivered) and there's not a damn thing anyone can do about it. So yes, sometimes this mom has to put her nose deep down in there to make sure other things didn't happen instead.
Usually it didn't, but you can't ever be too sure.
They Take The Dirty Bathroom Stall
You know the restaurant bathroom trips where a child goes with you and there's only two options: the disgusting toilet or the less disgusting toilet? It's super gross to be the one to take the hit, but this is motherhood (I guess). Plus, if you could see the way my kids hang on the toilet when they go, there's no way they'd walk out clean in the gross stall. I, on the other hand, know how to "hover."
They Dig Out Food From Their Purse (And Eat It)
When I'm paying for a meal, and part of my son's chicken finger falls into the top part of my purse, you bet I'm pulling it out to eat. If I don't, that's just wasted money.
Plus, I secretly wanted to try it anyway, so thanks, bud.
They Clean A Face With A Spit Finger
If there was ever a tradition among moms to be passed down to every generation thereafter, it's this. When you're out of napkins and your shirt or sleeve won't do, you probably use the old spit finger trick, like me. My kids hate it,. and I mean hate it, but if it's between that or letting them walk around with schmutz on their face, I've got to follow tradition. It's only fair.
They Do Whatever The Hell Gets Their Kid To Eat And Sit In Peace
Sometimes I don't care what has to happen in order for my family of four to sit down to a nice meal, enjoy each other's company, and eat something I didn't have to cook my damn self. If it means I have to let my toddler backwash into my water when he takes a drink with a mouth full of food, I guess that's the price I'm willing to pay. If that makes me a gross mom, it's not the worst thing I could be.