Romance and Real Life

“Mom, I don’t WANNA eat here,” Kendall whined.

“Well, it’s not your anniversary, is it?” I chimed back.

We took the kids to dinner with us last night for our 6th anniversary. No biggie. I think we took them to dinner last year, too.

It’s just that we are in a particular time in our lives, with the kids being the ages they are, that is basically the exact worst time to haul 2 kids out to eat. Kendall suddenly has passionate opinions about everything and is quite the contrarian. Leyna is too old to be contained by a highchair and too young to be bribed.

A new “tortilla factory” that also offers a full menu of Tex-Mex options opened near by. It’s not very fancy at all, but I chose it because I figured they’d have kid-pleasing food there… and beer. Plus, “not fancy” is exactly what we have to aim for when taking the 2 of them anywhere.

Kendall requested a cheese quesadilla, which is just cheese melted between two tortillas, for those of you not familiar. It’s quite the staple of kids menus ’round these parts… except at this place. A tortilla factory. 

“We’re not allowed to make quesadillas,” both the cashier AND the manager assured me. Yes, they had tortillas (clearly), cheese, and a grill, but could not melt the cheese between the tortillas on their grill inside a Tex-Mex restaurant to accommodate our request. So I decided to order my kid a cheese enchilada, which is cheese, wrapped in a corn tortilla, covered in red sauce.

Looking back, I wonder if I should have requested a cheese enchilada in a flour tortilla with no sauce?

“I don’t LIKE this food!” Kendall protested when the plate was set in front of him.

“Of course you don’t,” I muttered under my breath with a smile.

We spent approximately 15 minutes shoveling food in our mouths, while I chugged my Corona like a college girl, visibly worn out from a day of battles with the kids.

Scott had the job of keeping Leyna from scaling the booth and banging on the windows, and keeping the box of napkins away from her.

We tried to have a conversation about things people typically talk about on their anniversary, but we kept circling back to:

Stop that. No. Sit down. Please use your quiet voice. You don’t have to eat all of it, but you have to try it. You’re going to be hungry tonight. When we get home, you’re going straight to bed. Did you? Oh no. Give me that cup. STOP PLAYING WITH THE NAPKINS.

Oh romance and real life, when will you ever be friends?

Don’t take too much pity on me. It was actually a perfectly lovely day, as a whole. If I forget the entire restaurant scene and just burn this image into my mind, it was downright dreamy.


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  1. Oh the joys of being a young family. We pawned Lilly off on the hubby’s folks for a few hours and spent the afternoon in the nearest city for our anniversary….but with them 2 hours away, that is a rare occurrence. So I feel your pain…and I only have one toddler so far. Also, I agree with Tiffany – that Corona shot is golden.

  2. I can’t remember where you live in the DFW area–that should have been like question number one the other weekend!–but in a non-creepy way, I’d be totally delighted to watch your kids if you ever need/want an actual night out with your husband.

    (I don’t know that there is a way to non-creepily say that, now that I think of it.)

  3. LOL. Happy non-romantic anniversary. We’ve had plenty of those around these parts. And birthdays. And Valentines Days. And every other holiday that is supposed to be romantic.

  4. That place is the BEST. We had several locations in my hometown, and they just opened one in our town at the beginning of the year. LoveLoveLove. 🙂 Sorry Kendall is being a hellion, though. Happy anniversary!

  5. Love the third picture of you with the beer. I KNOW that look-and I only have one child (he is in prime toddler-mode though, at 14.5 mo. old). The thought through my head is usually something along the lines of “do I REALLY need another child? And would it really be horrible to have just one?” Thank the gods for two-buck Chuck and my vitamix (for emergency margaritas).

  6. A mexican restaurant with no quesadillas??? I’ve never heard of such a crazy place! We’ve taken both kids to dinner approximately three times in the last 13 months. We are not brave enough. 🙂 Happy Anniversary! Love that Arboretum shot! 😉

  7. Oh God Jill, you make me laugh. Thanks for this, after a day of ‘No, no, no. What part of no is unclear?’ I really needed to laugh and feel not alone.

  8. Heidi Duckworth Hard on

    I didn’t realize that the unnamed restaurant which I totally know ’cause I live in TX near you didn’t make quesadillas! That’s a sin. And I’ve soooo been you. We’ve been married 16 years and I think maybe 2x have we gone out by ourselves. Yea, romance! Perhaps we need to work out a reciprocal babysitting swap thing?

  9. That last photo is beautiful! We had the pleasure of leaving our two kids (3 y.o. and 11 mo.) with grandma and spent (gasp!) 2 hours without them at a restaurant with my husband (6 years this year too!). Which is really rare for us, we take them everywhere. Last time we left both of them was in May when we went to an adults only wedding, baby was 6 months, and the only time we went out before that was when he was a sleepy newborn and we just left our oldest with grandma. So thankful to have her here 🙂

  10. We had almost the same experience celebrating our 6th anniversary this weekend! Our girls are 2 and 4 and I could have written this about our dinner word for word… but we, too, had a lovely family day at a pumpkin farm before the dinner debacle. We’ll look back on this and laugh someday…. right?? Happy Anniversary 😉

  11. Tia Marie Hoaks on

    This is so true and so funny! Having 5 children, dinners become an adventure no matter what the day is..Romance? Have no idea what that is anymore.Your articles crack me up! Most of them are ones we can all relate to as parents..and FINALLY! Someone not making it seem like a fairytale, and writing what they are really thinking!

  12. I can go one further with my wedding anniversary story. We celebrated 10 years in a pizza restaurant having recently given birth to my third baby in 2011. So us, our three kids and around twenty friends all sit down to eat. After a dozen toilet runs, and general child wrangling my middle literally vomits all over the table. After this everyone leaves and I resolutely order dessert and eat it solo, determined to enjoy it regardless.

  13. Christina Kirkland on

    A) That final picture is stunning and B) I am so so grateful that I am not the only one who feels this way about going out to eat with my kids (4 1/2 and 1). Its not that they’re poorly behaved, its just that they’re KIDS….. and kids are not designed to sit quietly in a restaurant. Still… I miss those days.

  14. Hey Jill, My name is Gje Greene and I am the Director of Marketing for Fish City Grill and Half Shells. I read your blog regularly, and I hated to read about your anniversary dinner fiasco. FCG & HS are very kid-friendly (i.e. our staff “gets” kids and if a mom asks you to make a quesadilla they figure out how to go make a quesadilla already!), so I’d like to give you and your husband an anniversary do-over. You can print this and take it in to a FCG or email me and I will send you a real gift card to enjoy! My email address is:

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