Happy Birthday, Daddy!
Today is Sergiu’s Birthday. He’s turning 28. After fishing around for ideas on things to do that could include all of us – him, me and our 15 month-old toddler – I decided that dinner out would be the perfect celebration. To some it might sound utterly boring, but when you have a small child, dinners out seem like the ultimate pastime. The mother of all funs! Gone are the days of those crazy birthday parties extended until the small hours of the morning… I will stop here. You get the picture.
Sergiu loves French wine, French cuisine…actually he loves everything that’s French, so I booked a table for 6pm at a French restaurant in Covent Garden – Boulevard Brasserie.
The food was really good – salad, foie gras, a stake and yummy pasta, topped up with a Kir Royale so fruity and tasty that the French would be proud of it. So far so good, but this must have been the shortest date ever. We were in at 6.30 and out by 7.45pm.
First 30 minutes went well-ish. Aidan played for a while in his high chair with napkins, keys and pens. I even convinced him to taste from my yummy salad. Of course he wanted to also try the booze, and as revenge for not getting any, he poured half a glass of water on his top. Needless to say, I had no changing clothes; so he spent the evening with tissues down his clothes.
After the first semi-decent half an hour, he decided he wanted to charm the pants off the young lady sitting at a neighbouring table. Discounting the obvious boyfriend, who was so much more suitable for her and totally within her age group, our son was chatting up the girl by making all these wonderful high and low-pitched sounds, as if chiming about his coup de foudre. He even attempted to grab her hand across the table, by pulling himself up on his legs, despite the whithering height of the baby chair.
When his charms only took him so far, I allured him with some goodies I raked about in my handbag. The miracle only lasted for about 3 seconds and a half, when he decided he wanted out of the chair. Armed with a pen in one hand and a sample tube of baby cream in the other, and Sergiu on his tale, he started his discovery journey around the the restaurant, up the stairs, under the tables, then up the stairs again. At some point he managed to squeeze the tube so hard that he smeared cream all over the stairs and the glass wall. Now, how do you explain a toddler so young that what he’s doing is not quite allowed outside his home?
In between these frolics, he helped himself to some freshly made, 100% superior quality breast milk that recovered his strength and there he was at it, again. All through our main course, half of his tiny body was outstretched over our dinner table. He was mesmerized with the candlelight, and drawn by the loud conversation from the table across the room, where three ladies and a gentleman were sharing experiences and thoughts on the books they’d recently read.
I gave up on the idea of actually finishing my pasta aux champignons that anyway went down my throat in big, hurried gulps, aware of an imminent tantrum awaiting to break loose. So we decided to turn tail before anything worse would happen and put an end to Aidan’s shrilling caterwaul. I could already feel the incriminatory glances of those present in the Brasserie, who probably came out thinking they would have a decent conversation over dinner.
Back in the street, he refused to sit in his stroller and made us chase him around Covent Garden market, while he was whooping with delight over his new found freedom. Mind you, he’s only 15 months old and tripping successfully while bumping even into the smallest edge of a side walk.
He greeted and babbled to all the toys in the Disney store window, with specific sounds for each one of them: a boo for the cow, a mia-mia for the cat, am-am for the dog and a tong smack for the sound of the horse galloping on the pavement. Finally, back in the tube, he settled down for a milky “snack” . He loved the train ride and paced up and down, amused by the dangling carriages.
Ah, there is so much to tell still, but I could keep you up all night with our adventures in Aidan land, and still, in the morning I would have a few to add.
Nevermind the limited conversation like “Aidan be careful! … Aidan, let’s put the fork down before you hurt yourself…Quick, he’s up the stairs….Aww, baby you bumped your head in the table…” – at the end of the day, Daddy was happy, Aidan got to taste French food and mommy felt good about giving daddy a bit of a soiree out.
Happy Birthday, Daddy! Next time I’ll know to chose a restaurant closer to home. 😛