Schlepp was allowed to come in the car on the way to dinner. But by the time we arrived at the restaurant, Isabelle wanted to take him in with us. While Schlepp is her dear teddy bear who she’s slept with nightly since she turned one year-old, he has only gone out to a restaurant a handful of times.
“I wanna bring Schleppy!” Isabelle said.
“No, Schleppy stays in the car,” I replied.
“Schleppy in dinner!” she demanded.
“No, Izzy,” I said firmly.
“I wanna bring Schleppy in dinner please!”
The articulation wasn’t perfect, but the sentence was pretty spot-on. I had to give her credit for her persistence too.
I took a deep breath. I don’t going back on what I say. In fact, I rarely do it. But I wanted to have a peaceful dinner and if this bear could give that to us, then maybe, just maybe, he could come in! This wasn’t a battle I needed to have. Getting her to be patient while she’d have to wait for her food, for us to finish the meal, and to get up — those were battles were worth having. A battle over a teddy bear was NOT worth having. Not tonight.
“Fine, he can come in,” I said. “But I’m going to carry him through the parking lot because you need to hold my hand.”
“Okay Mommy,” Isabelle smiled.
* * * * *
Schlepp sat atop my handbag, which was under the table, for most of the meal. He really wasn’t needed since Isabelle had crayons and Little People (and the rest of the family). But, right before her food arrived, things looked like they might get a little dicey.
“Tummy hungry!” she said, over and over again.
“Your chicken is coming soon,” I said.
That back and forth happened several times. Finally, I pulled Schelpp out from under the table. She hugged him tightly, while coloring, ’til her food arrived. And once it came, she hugged him ’til it cooled.
Maybe the bear at dinner wasn’t such a bad idea after all. And maybe, just maybe, it’s another lesson in knowing when to pick your battles.