This afternoon, just before I put Ari down for a nap, I said, “We’re ordering from Rice and Noodles tonight. What would you like?”
His face perked up. Rice and Noodles, which is a Vietnamese restaurant, has been his favorite place to eat — dining in before the pandemic and take-out since the pandemic began — in Lancaster. (We found it a few days before it was featured in a New York Times article about Lancaster’s global cuisine scene.
“I want my usual and I also want my own pho,” he replied.
“Sure, I’ll get you your own pho. This means I won’t have to share mine!” (Ari loves pho and lands up eating a lot of my noodles and broth every time.)
“Good!” he declared.
Marc unpacked the take-out bags from Rice and Noodles this evening only to discover something was missing.
“Did you order Ari’s chicken and rice?”
“I think so,” I replied. “The receipt got emailed to your phone. Would you pull it up?”
I checked the receipt. Sure enough, a kids’ com ga nuong was on the bill. I called Rice and Noodles, explained that it was missing, and asked if Marc could pick it up in 45 minutes. They said yes.
As luck would have it, Ari had an appetizer (i.e., the pho) that was ready to eat. Since he’s four, he got annoyed since he wanted to eat his entree first. We explained the soup would come first, that it wasn’t a big deal, and that they must’ve been extremely busy tonight since this is the first time in almost two years that the restaurant has ever made a mistake.
Begrudgingly, Ari began eating the pho. Before long, he completely forgot about the missing entree since he was slurping the soup and lapping up the noodles like an animal. (Hence the reason he was sitting in his old booster seat, wearing a bib, while eating the pho.)
“Mommy, I think I like this better than what I usually get.”
“That’s great, buddy! But you still have an entree coming.”
“But what if,” more slurping, “I want more pho later?”
“If you finish your chicken and rice, then you can finish the rest of the pho later.”
He smiled, seemingly pleased by that idea.