Do you remember last week, when I said, and I quote, eh-hem "When you have three kids, it is very rare that any one of them gets to spend time alone with both parents...We can't afford to get a sitter for two, so that both Mommy and Daddy can take one out..."
All still true. But we don't have to pay Nana. Which means we can afford her. (Love you, Mom.) Last weekend, Nana took Jonah and Cate to stay overnight with her, while Sam got to spend a whole bunch of time alone with Mommy and Daddy.
Sam alone is like a fish out of water. As the middle child, he spends most of his time tagging along with Jonah, or trying to keep Cate from tagging along with him. But he adapted quickly. As a huge treat (and to make up for the fact that we did not have the good sense to have him first or last) we took him to a place called, John's Incredible Pizza. And it was...incredible.
The first thing we did was take ourselves on a little tour of all the different rooms to sit in. There is, among others, a cartoon room, with huge screens running cartoons, a sports room, with huge screens running sports, and a log cabin room, with no screens at all. There is a fireplace and big wooden beams, with a pheasant and hunting dog motif. As the modern, sub-urban, American family wouldn't know how to hunt anything that wasn't on a screen, this room was completely empty. So, we decided to sit there. But not until we hit the arcade.
I played skee ball. Sam played a car racing game, a motorcycle riding game, and a spaceship flying game. I played skee ball. Sam rode a horse, a rocket ship, and a giant frog. I played skee ball. Sam shot things, beat me (I let him win) at the water pistol game, and bowled five frames. I played skee ball. Sam talked me into sitting with him on hard, formed plastic reclining chairs pointed at a screen, while the chairs jerked along in time to the movie shown thereon. This, by the way, jiggles one around quite a bit, and, in hindsight, is not fit for any adult woman over, oh...ninety-five pounds. I played skee ball. I also rubbed some Crisco on my hips to get on the kiddie coaster, as he was not tall enough to ride alone. Minor public humiliations suffered to a soundtrack of pop hits from the eighties. When was the last time you listened to Howard Jones or Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam? I ask you.
So you see, I was there for my son. I participated, I watched, I clapped and cheered like a dutiful mother. Though, I confess, that during any lull in the activity, I sneaked away to play skee ball, like a pack-a-day smoker trying to get at a lit cigarette. I love, love, love skee ball. I always have. But, now I'm rusty. My scores were low. I hurt my back.* It was sad. But, I have become a world class whac-a-mole player. As the mother of three small children, I have had lots of practice.
After about an hour of building up our immune systems by touching everything in the arcade, we settled in for a buffet lunch. This place does not mess around. They had fifteen different kinds of pizza, and a well appointed salad bar. The buffalo chicken pizza was my favorite, and I am emphatically against poultry on pizza. They have a spicy peanut butter pizza too, but I declined. Sam's choice was macaroni-and-cheese pizza. That's right folks, macaroni-and-cheese pizza. You have to hand it to them, they know their crowd.
They also make something called "nacho pizza" which must be quite popular. The pan was empty when we went by. Then, as we were eating, they made an announcement, and you could tell it was a big deal, that the nacho pizza was ready, come and get it. This was followed quickly by the sounds of obese people in $90 "athletic" shoes power-waddling to the buffet. (Okay, I shouldn't be so harsh. If they had said "nacho cheesecake," for example, I might have thundered along with the herd.)
Arcade games and a buffet lunch. We, the adults, were sated. Sam however, had one more thing he wanted to do. Dance, on the hearth of the Cabin Room fireplace, for a rapt audience of two.
It was incredible.
*I may very well have hurt my back trying to dislodge my girth from the kiddie coaster, but do you see how I dropped one factual sentence next to another, thereby implying that they are connected? Is it my fault if people jump to the wrong conclusion I want them to jump to? This is a law school education at work people.
[The pictures that don't include Sam were taken from the John's Incredible Pizza Facebook page and HERE.]