If wishes were horses...
I wish I were a better writer.
Just me and my random and irregular thoughts since April 12th, 2004.
The past few months the girls have been begging us to try some new foods and to eat with their hands. While the two were not related I thought that combined they would make for a good, new experience. As a result, I started looking around for a Morrocan restaurant. I asked a few friends and as it turned out one of them had recently dined at such a place in San Francisco, El Mansour. She wanted to eat there again, and started recruiting people to join us.
Tonight was the night that we could all make it, so we piled in cars and met up in the city. The girls were thrilled with the concept, and excited that the day was here. Upon arrival we were immediately seated at a low table surrounded by low couches and "tuffets". While I should have seen the disaster coming, I did not. Tuffets plus two 5 year olds equals one very "active" dinner
with many reminders that we were indeed in a restaurant and needed to behave accordingly. Overall, IMHO, other than expanding our dining space to include the vacant tables next to us, they were pretty good, especially for such a prolonged dinner.
The start of the experience began with handwashing where they bring out a large brass tureen and pitcher and pour nice warm water over your hands. The girls thought this step was great, and lots of fun. Sam even required a solo washing. Soon after came the bread which was passed around between every course. Better grab extra though, because this is what you use to pick up your food, and they don't leave any on the table. The bread was followed each time by something new, soup, a veggie platter with uniquely cooked and spiced treats, some sort of puff pastry appetizer that Riley devoured, the main course, belly dancing, and dessert which was more puff pastry yumminess and fried bananas. The girls seemed to enjoy most, if not all of the food.
The belly dancing, however, is where the bachelorette party started. The dancer came out, did a short dance then brought Riley up to dance with her. Sam refused, but held on tightly to the scarf the dancer gave her. Riley did a great job copying everything that the dancer did,
and had me in tears of glee throughout. She was so serious about the whole thing, and was really paying attention to what the dancer was showing her. After her turn was done, the dancer moved on to other tables to dance with their occupants. At this point I was pretty sure
we were all done. Nothing could be further from the truth.
After performing for each table, she made her way back towards the kitchen where the manager put a dollar in her shirt strap giving everyone a clue as to how they should tip her. Members of our party gave the girls dollars for the dancer, which I thought was really nice...until they
delivered them. I mistakenly assumed (I know, I know) that they would hand her the dollars, she would say thank you, and they would sit back down. Oh noooooo. She held out her waistband and let them tuck the dollars in. They were very entertained by it all. I, however, was mortified. My girls had unknowingly had their first bachelorette party.
While in Disneyland this past week we got the girls cupcakes (more expensive and less tasty than Kara's or Sprinkles) for their birthday. The cupcakes came complete with little Minnie Mouse rings that the girls just loved. Riley wore hers all day. Sam was a little "busier" with her ring. It was on her finger, off her finger, carried tightly in her fist, and yes, left on tables, benches, rides, etc. This is probably because Minnie Mouse is her favorite character. She just couldn't stop looking at it.
At the end of the day, we made a stop by the little potties in the child care center. It was here that Sam discovered her beloved Minnie ring was missing. All day she had been a little under the weather, and none of us had had much sleep the last two days, so she (and the rest of us) were just exhausted. Upon discovering the loss Sam just crumpled into a sad little heap on the floor and cried. As I was trying to comfort her and assure her that we would try to find the ring Riley walked up. Very sweetly, she took off her Minnie Mouse ring and presented it to Sam saying, "Here Sam, you can have my Minnie Ring". She then gave Sam a very gentle and loving pat on the shoulder. Sam responded with, "That's ok Riley, that's your ring, you should keep it." At this moment in time I could not keep the tears out of my eyes. Thankfully they didn't notice.
I could not have been more proud of my girls. This was definitely better than any Mother's Day gift I could hope to receive.
With the girls 5th birthday fast approaching I've had some deep moments of reflection, regret, happiness, sorrow, joy, and general contemplation. 5 years ago I had no idea what I was in for, and I now know that unless you've experienced it yourself you can't come close to understanding what it's like to have two totally unique individuals growing up in your home that just happen to have the same birth date. Wondering if I'm doing the right thing often keeps me up late at night, and in this case caused me to get out of bed at 2:00 A.M. to record some of these thoughts, incoherent as they may be.