I think it’s difficult to appreciate the level of organization, planning and praying that goes into bringing a child anywhere in public until you have to bring your own child somewhere, particularly if that child is a toddler who doesn’t respond to basic commands and will run out into the street given an inch of freedom. I have so many ideas for drive-thru businesses designed specifically with parents of little ones who haven’t napped all day but on the car ride to an errand fall dead asleep in their car seat (and how can you wake him up to go into Target when you really want him to sleep) in mind.
At a certain point you think your child is behaved enough and you can manage going to pick up the pizza with him on Friday night. And then the nice lady at the pizza place opens up the box to show you the pizza while you are screaming on the inside: “How could you open that box when you see this child here? Now that he knows there is pizza in there, EVERYTHING IS RUINED!” Meanwhile, your toddler begins screaming on the outside because he wants to eat the pizza. And the madness ensues as you try to juggle the pizza and his arm as you have to pull him out of the store while some nice guy politely holds the door open for you. And then your head just about bursts from his incessant screaming on the short, but not short enough, ride home.
From that point on, if I was ever in a position where I need to watch Ben and take care of pizza, I get delivery. But last weekend, I was thinking of pizza from a local place that doesn’t deliver – which unfortunately coincided with Ben’s dad getting really sick. Like sick enough that I couldn’t risk Ben getting whatever he had. But I really wanted pizza from Portobello’s. It’s just a quick ride from my house and I thought, “Well, what else am I going to do? I can handle this.” Portobello’s is next to a great little grocery store Marandino’s and we needed a couple of things, so wouldn’t this all be great and work out well? Order the pizza, pick up some things at the grocery store, then grab our pizza and go home. How hard could it be? Actually, what I was really thinking was, “I have no choice. If things go south, oh well.”
Turns out any worries I had were for naught and I have a newfound love for both Marandino’s and Portobello’s. Just as the grocery store trip was about to take a turn for the worse, I let Ben push the carriage and the near tantrum was thwarted. I thought we’d get into trouble when we had to stop to check out, but both the cashier and the guy helping her bag engaged with Ben and he loved it. Then onto the pizza place – duh duh duh. I carried Ben in and the manager engaged with Ben while another person handled the payment with me. A different person grabbed the pizza and offered to bring it to my car. OFFERED TO BRING IT TO MY CAR. I’m not one for taking people up on these sorts of things, so I said I’d be able to manage. She insisted on holding the door open for me, though. And as I passed by her holding the door, she said, “I understand. I have two kids.”
Well, everyone in my story: you officially made what I thought would be a dreaded experience a very lovely excursion instead. And I am so gracious for this that I thought I’d include you in my blog. If you’re in the New Hartford area, check out both of these places – especially if you have a toddler in tow – and I hope you have as positive an experience as I did.