Sunday saw us all go out for a meal for Father's day. Myself, hubby, the boy, Nanny P and Granddad Atu.
We chose a very nice pub near to where my parents live which is now run by twin brothers and the chef I know as I'm friends with his other half and they all in turn know Ken, Barbie and Earthquake (the pub is The Plough and Sail in Snape if anyone is local and wants to go along, the food is fantastic).
The boy seemed on good form and had slept in until 8am so a 12 o'clock reservation seemed perfect timing and the last thing I thought he'd be was tired.
But there he was sat at the table, eventually, arsey as hell and rubbing his eyes!
We ordered starters and asked for his pasta to come with those, which it duly did. It was very tasty. The boy wasn't having any of it!
As Granddad Atu didn't have a starter he took the boy outside for a run around and a walk. A long walk. So long in fact that Hubby had to go and find out where they were.
No matter. The boy likes his food stone cold. Really he does.
Our main course arrived. Still he refused the pasta.
My Mum chipped in
"Can he have a sandwich?"
"Mum they don't do sandwiches. If he's hungry he'll eat this pasta. I'm not ordering him anything else"
"No I mean I've got some sandwiches here. In my bag. I've done him some just in case."
Now I carry snacks. Rations. Emergency supplies. I'd got breadsticks on me and even one of those squeezy fruit pouches - which by the way he had devoured so he wasn't adverse to all food that day - but Mum had a full pack up about her person.
"Mum! He eats this or nothing at all. I am not giving him a pack up in a restaurant. He's 2 now, he can eat what we eat."
"Don't make a scene dear. What will people think?"
And that has always been the trouble - what will people think? It used to worry the life out of me too but not anymore. He's my son and if I say no, I mean no and I'm not giving in just because we're out in public and to spare other people the short lived inconvenience of hearing the boy go off on one!
It will be dealt with my way.
Or so I thought.
I had promised the boy ice cream if he was good. He clearly wasn't being good as the screaming and physical pushing away of my hand every time I tried to force tomato pasta down his throat was testament too. However he had become fixated with the ice cream.
"Ice cream cornet. Ice cream cornet" he kept repeating.
He had clearly forgotten, blocked out or just used his selective hearing and missed the first bit about being a good boy and all that would calm him was ice cream.
The pressure to appease the situation was pretty intense at this point.
I ordered ice cream.
Two scoops, one strawberry and one chocolate swiftly came. (god bless those lovely waitresses)
They were in a bowl with a spoon. The boy still mentioned a cornet.
"It's ice cream honey. In a bowl. With a spoon. Like a big boy."
"Does he want it in a cornet?" asked my Mum routing around in her handbag like Mary Poppins. "Because I've got one here!"
And then it happened.
My mum produced from her bag an ice cream cone perfectly preserved in a polythene food bag secured at the top with a twisty tie.
"Oh my god" was all that I could muster from my already open mouth.
"Well I thought he might like one and they often don't have them in restaurants. They just have ice cream in bowls. Don't look at me like that. I know you think I'm silly"
But that's just it. I don't think she's silly at all. I think the woman's a genius. Or bonkers. Or both.
I can't decide how I felt. If I was in awe of Nanny P's organisational skills or if I was a bad mother for not packing one myself.
My Mum has always been prepared like the most ultra efficient boy scout there ever was. She has paracetamol,ibuprofen, tissues, wipes, plasters, nail files and needle and thread for ever conceivable emergency. But...
A BLOODY ICE CREAM CONE!
The boy sat happily with a scoop of strawberry ice cream wedged into the top of the cornet, licking away.
Peace at last...
But at what price?
I mean, whatever would people think.....?