So Tom asked this morning if I wanted to go to Wal-Mart after we dropped Tommy off at school.
Sleep or shop?
Sleep or shop?
See, I usually get to take a morning nap when I put Natalie down at 9. She sleeps until 1030, bless her heart.
I sleep with her because waking up at 7 is not easy for me. I know there are people who wake up even earlier than that and do fine without a nap--I get that--but believe me, I'm more pleasant when I've had one.
Maybe it would help if I drank coffee, but I don't.
I decided to go with Tom. Because even rushed shopping is better than no shopping at all.
We dropped Tommy off at school and he saw the little boy who he goes to Language Lab with.
"Hi! Hi! My friend!" Tommy shouted, gathering his backpack and jumping out of the truck. "My friend!"
My heart squeezed when I saw his friend stop and wait for him to watch up. Then they walked inside the school, side-by-side.
I always worry that Tommy will be teased. Because of his speech delay and his awkwardness. I watch as he sort of drags his feet along as he walks and he still struggles when people toss a ball at him. His arms will be out, waiting, but most of the time the ball slips through his arms and he'll shout, "Oh! I can't DO this!"
"Yes you CAN, Tommy. You CAN!" I always tell him.
Thank goodness Tom never expected his son to be into sports. Because if he had, well, he'd have been a tad disappointed. Because Tommy could care less about sports. He's my little scientist and can spout out facts about the heart and the brain. While other little boys his age might be lining up for softball practice, my son is pouring over books, trying to learn all he can about the small intestines.
We drove off to Wal-Mart and Tom was pleased that not a lot of people were there.
"Now this," he told me as he parked, "is how I like my stores."
We went inside and Tom picked out a sandwich for work tonight while I wandered into the bakery section.
There really should be a large sign with my photo plastered on it that reads: "Do not serve her. She is trying to lose weight so she can wear a swimsuit at Disney without scaring people."
Tom found me drooling over the cheesecakes.
"Just get it," he said into my ear.
"I can't," I argued. "It's like four hundred calories a slice. And I don't even want to know how many grams of fat are in there."
Tom picked one up. "Twenty one."
"TWENTY ONE! Then no way. No way," I said, snatching it out of his hands and putting it back. Then I gestured to the cake book. "Do you want a fancy cake for your birthday next week?"
Tom shrugged. "I don't care. But if you make one, it needs to be Duncan Hines."
Tom will be 26 on May 6th. I've already found some presents for him. He wanted something for his iPod so I got that. Plus Top Gun. Because all men like Top Gun right? He's a difficult man to shop for, I tell you. He claims that he's easy but he is not.
"I'd like a Wii too," he added.
Which just isn't going to happen.
Because then he'd take over the living room with his video games and there is no way I'm going to watch him play for hours on end.
"Are you done?" Tom asked me.
"No. I need tortillas," I said and he gave a long sigh.
"Shopping with you always takes forever," he muttered as I rushed ahead of him. I found the tortillas and the I got all excited when I saw Little Debbie had a new treat out. Smores!
"Smores, Tom, SMORES!" I said, waving the purple box around.
Tom's eyes darted all around. "Geez. Do you have to embarrass me all the time?"
I really wish he'd get more excited about food.
Or ANYTHING, for that matter.
We were done a few minutes later.
As we were checking out Tom announced that he was hungry.
"Maybe," he said as he paid for the items with his debit card, "we can go out for breakfast. At Perkins."
A flashback to our last meal at Perkins appeared in my mind.
Natalie refusing to sit.
Natalie shrieking at me and rendering me deaf for two hours.
Natalie refusing to eat.
Natalie crawling up and down the booth while I tried to hurry and stuff my food into my mouth.
"Um," I said. "No."
Tom looked surprised.
Amber, refusing to EAT?
"I suggested Perkins. You LOVE Perkins," he reminded me as we pushed the cart with our bags outside.
"I did. I mean I do. But you remember how Natalie behaved..." I trailed off, figuring he probably didn't, because after all he was able to eat his food WARM, while I struggled with the baby and then he looked genuinely startled when I said that we probably shouldn't go back to a restaurant for awhile.
"She'll be fine," Tom said.
And because my stomach was rumbling thanks to McDonalds breakfast smells coming from inside the Wal-Mart, I agreed.
An old man shuffled inside Perkins in front of us.
Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle. Then he suddenly paused, scratched his head, turned around, looked surprised to see us there, turned back around and shuffled to the front. He was shown a table and then we were shown a booth.
Natalie actually sat in her carseat while we browsed the menu.
I thought about being dainty and ordering the two egg breakfast that came with two slices of bacon and hash browns--but then my stomach rumbled again and I got something called the Tremendous Twelve--it came with three eggs, four sausage links, hash browns and four pancakes.
Tom is always amused whe I order something large like that.
"Where," he once asked when we were first dating, "do you put it all?"
He hasn't asked that since because I'm sure he's aware now where it goes.
But food is just too dang good!
Also, the waitress was somewhat annoying. When she asked what we wanted to drink I said a diet coke.
She looked startled.
"Oh!" she said. "How about some juice?"
"A diet coke," I repeated firmly.
"We have orange juice, apple juice..."
Was she deaf?
"A DIET COKE," I said, enunciating my words. "I need the caffeine," I felt the need to explain.
She blinked at me, her pen poised against her pad. "I can bring you coffee for caffine. We have FABULOUS coffee here."
I shot Tom an annoyed look and he stared back at me with raised eyebrows. "I don't like coffee," I explained slowly, as if I were talking to the neighborhood dunce. "I'd like a diet coke."
"So no juice?" the waitress said.
"No juice," I said, my voice terse.
"I'll take a juice," Tom said.
The waitress looked pleased to her it. "FABULOUS!" she said and I thought for sure she'd clap her hands or something. But instead she scribbled it down on her pad and repeated, "FABULOUS!" and she flounced off to the back.
Tom and I exchanged a Look. "Clearly," I said. "She's had too much of the FABULOUS coffee," I said, mimicking her.
Tom snickered and was about to say something but Natalie gave us her warning shriek.
Get me out of this thing!
Tom unbuckled her and sat her on his lap.
He handed her a straw.
She actually stared at it for a few minutes and gave us enough time to order without her shouting over our voices.
The waitress came back and happily handed Tom his juice.
And sort of clunked my diet coke down in front of me.
"You ready to order?" she asked.
We gave her our choices and when she was gone Natalie decided that it was time to climb on the table.
"No," Tom said firmly. "No."
"AHHHHH!" Natalie argued.
She started to crawl up on the table again.
"I think she wants you," Tom said, and handed her over to me.
Um no Tom. Actually she just wants to climb on the table.
I took her anyway and she broke free and started to crawl up and down the booth.
Then she'd try to crawl up on the table again.
"NO!" Tom and I said in unison.
She paused, one knee on the table.
"No," Tom said sternly.
Another knee went up on the table.
"NO!" Tom and I said together.
Natalie slid back down on the booth and all dramatic like banged her face into the vinyl and gave a sad cry.
I tried to have a conversation with Tom.
But our conversation went like this:
"So work is going well-work is--Natalie NO--I'm glad to hear it. Hopefully your troops--Natalie NO--the weather is so nice but tomorrow we're supposed to get--Natalie NO--snow.."
Our food came quickly, as it always does at Perkins.
I plopped Natalie in her high chair and offered her some of my food.
She picked up a piece of hash brown between her thumb and forefinger and inspected it. Then she set it back down, banged it with her fist and brushed it onto the floor.
"Pancake?" I offered her.
Onto the floor it went.
I really wish I had children who liked to eat.
I decided to try the blueberry syrup on my pancakes and Tom stared at me in horror as I drizzled it on.
"That's gross," he said.
Tom, who will only ever use maple syrup on his pancakes or waffles. Because the flavored stuff is "gross" in his opinion.
Natalie started to stand up in her high chair.
Tom opened his mouth to tell her no. But Natalie stared him brazingly in his eyes and shook her head firmly.
I know I'm not supposed to do this, Dad. But standing up rocks!
"No, Natalie. NO.."
Once again, our conversation was interupted.
"So we're all set for Disney--Natalie NO--the Magic Express will take us to our hotel and--NATALIE NO--the first night we're eating at the Crystal Palace with Pooh and Gang--NO, Natalie--I know, Pooh scares me too. I never understood the facination with him either. And his obsession with honey is just bizaree--Natalie NO--I think it'll be fun to see everyone--NATALIE NO!"
I eventually moved her back to the booth beside me and she crawled up and down that, occasionally pausing to try and see if she was allowed to crawl on the table.
She wasn't and looked plain annoyed.
Guess what Perkins did have?
"Oh Tom, they HAVE them. My eclairs!" I exclaimed as we went up to pay.
Mmm, I got one for breakfast tomorrow.
When we got into the truck Tom was all, "Maybe you're right. Maybe we should avoid restaurants for awhile."
Then he was all, "What's she going to be like on the three hour plane ride? Dear God.."
It should be interesting.
But in happier news, I had