I managed to get the kids off to school and picked up on time, and in between I fulfilled work obligations of the ordinary kind. After their afternoon snack, a half-hour of "Bill Nye the Science Guy," and an hour of Mario and Sonic at the Winter Olympics, we struck out for dinner.
The school was having a fundraiser at a local pizza franchise, and I couldn't be happier about that. First, it relieved me of having to give a single thought to what's for dinner. Second, the place has a private club license. Done and done!
Now I have to confess that I've never been to the local franchise in question, even though its locations are dotted all over central Arkansas. So there was one bit of uncertainty in our trip. I wasn't familiar with the menu, and I didn't know how easy it would be to get the kids their usual cheese pizza, find something reasonable for myself, and get everyone bundled off home before bedtime.
It was a tiny bit disheartening to arrive and find a very limited selection of non-pizza items on the menu. A couple of salads, a lonely listing of spaghetti and meatballs, sure; but no calzones, no subs, no anything that might be considered a normal meal for one person. So I ordered a ten-inch spinach and four cheese pie for myself, hoping to save some for lunch tomorrow, and a kiddie cheese pizza for each of my children.
Pleasant surprise number one: The waitress asked permission and then brought two hunks of uncooked pizza dough for the kids to play with while we waited on our food. Cady Gray immediately began a game which involved me guessing which color crayon was hidden in her pizza dough, while Archer flattened it like a pancake and delightedly commenced flipping it.
Pleasant surprise number two: The waitress invited the kids to make their own pizza. When the crust was ready, she called them up to the counter to spread the sauce around and cover it with cheese. You've never seen happier kids anticipating the eating of pizzas they made themselves. Well, until you saw them actually eating it. "That was the best meal of my life!" Cady Gray proclaimed as we left the place about 45 minutes after we arrived, me toting a box with half of my (absolutely delicious, very hard to keep from eating on past halfway) spinach-cheese pie.
So put a mark in the success column for Day 1's effort to keep the kids fed, clothed, and in the right place at the right time. Tomorrow couldn't be more exciting: Archer's Powerpoint presentation for his Pinnacle gifted & talented group at school, chess club, and a visit from a babysitter in the evening while I fulfill some academic obligations. Tune in next time for the full report!