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  • Writer's pictureJason Weening

RESTAURANT SPILLAGE

HEY DADS! How do you celebrate birthdays at your house? Do you do anything different for boys’ birthdays or girls’ birthdays or dad’s birthday or, most importantly, mom’s birthday? With 12 people in our family we’ve got a few stretches of the year when there’s pretty consistent birthday celebrations.


If our new baby is born in April we’ll have birthdays in each month from November to May. I keep telling my wife we just need babies in June, July and October to have a birthday in every month! She isn’t as excited about that idea as I am. If we were really strategic we could have twins again - one on June 30 before midnight and have the next one on July 1 a few minutes later! She’s usually walked away from the conversation before I get to this strategic planning. So I just imagine my awesome plans in my head. 


Our twin daughters, Pearl and Emerald, turned 8 on Saturday. I was speaking to parents at a conference this weekend so we had to bump the birthday celebrations to Sunday. They would have preferred bumping them up to Friday but I was having none of that early birthday talk. 


To make the Sunday birthday bump more appealing I asked the twins if they wanted to go out for lunch after church. “Yes! McDonalds! Tim Hortons! Dairy Queen!”  I was also having none of that fast food talk. We were going to a real restaurant. Our whole crew doesn’t visit restaurants very often. It’s hard on my wallet. But this was a special occasion. We invited an aunt, an uncle and a few cousins along for the adventure. When we got to the restaurant the staff scrambled around collecting tables and chairs and cramming them all together in a big row. We barely managed to squeeze into the party room with our two families. The rest of the dining areas looked kind of empty since we commandeered most of the tables for our celebration. 


Not unlike the NHL trade deadline, negotiations began. Who would sit beside who. This cousin or that cousin or the favourite aunt. There were almost tears but some last-minute finagling closed the deal. We ordered our drinks and it was a record time of about 11 seconds before our 3-year-old, Mabel, dumped a glass of water on her cousin across the table. Chaos ensued and the unfortunate cousin enjoyed the rest of the meal with wet pants. He may reject our next birthday bash invitation. No other drinks were spilled so I chalk that up as a win. My very pregnant wife did spill some of her own drink on herself. Twice actually, if I recall. The invited aunt mocked her but I kept my mouth shut. I’ve learned that lesson.





After multiple interrogations from the younger children about when the food would arrive it finally did. Some kids’ eyes are bigger than their stomachs. The bigger small kids are too cool to order off the kids’ menu so they want adult meals. This time we had 15-year-old male cousin to finish off all those unfinished plates of food. Down the hatch! We ate and drank and made merry. These are the good memories of our lives. Time flies, dad! Make every moment count! Even the expensive ones.

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