Our favorite restaurant only accepts reservations for indoor dining, not patio seating. Therefore, we felt like we hit the lottery when we managed to get a patio table on Saturday night. The kids were thrilled to don their masks to march from the hostess stand to our patio table, which overlooked Cocoa Avenue and the monorail from Hersheypark (where they haven’t been in months).
Everything was going well as they devoured their biscuits. Marc and I played Uno with Ari while Isabelle colored. No one complained about the food taking awhile to come since we were dining at Devon!
Two minutes after the food arrived bees swarmed the kids’ grilled chicken and French fries. Each of them had a predictable reaction:
- Ari, who was stung by a bee last year, declared, “Don’t eat my grilled chicken!”
- Isabelle shrieked — repeatedly. Not even firm pressure on her shoulders could calm my bee-phobic daughter down. I advised her to stand away from the table while Marc and I tried to determine how we’d eradicate the bees and save dinner.
I didn’t want to engage in bee swatting for fear one of us would get stung. I kept peering over my shoulder to check on Isabelle whose body was stiff. She was wailing about the bees in a way that hurt my heart.
You know what we did, right?
We asked our server for the check, boxed up all of our food, paid, and ate in the back of the minivan.
Three of us tried to make the best of it. However, Isabelle whined about not having enough room for her legs on the picnic blanket. (She is 4’3” so her complaints frustrated us since the rest of the over five feet crew were fine!) I looked her squarely in the eye and said, “We love you. That’s why we left the restaurant. This isn’t an ideal situation. This isn’t the dinner any of us wanted. But, you have to stop complaining!”
She sulked in her corner of the minivan for several minutes while the rest of us ate and chatted. Eventually, she enjoyed the family banter and put a smile on her face.
We aren’t eating indoors these days because of COVID-19. We will only do socially-distant patio seating, but it’s hard when your child detests bugs and gets upset if there’s so much as a gnat near her. So… perhaps this Saturday night we order take-out and sit at our dining room table.