A Late Night Out On a School Night?

It was a dreary, drab day and no one wanted to play outside.  It drizzled a bit here and there and I'll admit that my boys spent most of the afternoon playing video games and watching TV.  I ended up falling asleep!  It was just one of those "do nothing" days that I think we all need from time to time to rejuvenate.

I decided I didn't even want to make supper.

We ended up heading out and, for a special treat, we went all the way to the Cheesecake factory (I really must un- friend them on Facebook; it's so tempting looking at all their photos!).
The boys groaned a bit at the ride and my husband grumbled about how late the kids would be up but I reminded them they don't have to get up early in the morning.

Sometimes I think we don't take advantage enough of the fact that we homeschool and can live a totally flexible lifestyle.  I think it's good to have routine and structure but we really need to break out and go just a bit crazy every now and then.

My husband suggested we listen to more of The Return of the Indian and I told him we finished it, but could start listening to The Secret of the Indian.  He asked the boys what had happened in The Return of the Indian and they all ended up getting a lesson on re- telling and summarizing.

All the boys remembered a lot of facts about the story (and since I had heard the story I could understand) but they often told them out of order and my husband was getting confused.

I'd prompt them with questions, remind them that something important happened before the fact they were blurting out, etc.  We talked about the importance of telling the story in sequential order and picking out key pieces of the story.

Once they finished re- telling we started the last book in the trilogy and loved that it began right where the last story ended (good thing we summarized for my husband!).  Ian and Evan worked on Evan's car ride kit and ended up coloring in his binder.

Once at the restaurant the boys were great.  They pointed out so much about the d├ęcor I never even noticed before.  Evan decided it was Egyptian themed and the boys pointed out what looked like mummy wrappings on the light fixtures, cobra's on other light fixtures, peacocks painted in the ceiling and even Egyptian looking faces on all the poles.

They spent a long time looking over all the cheesecakes in the display case and trying to decide which one they'd like to order after dinner.

They read the menu and ordered their food politely.

Alec pretty much always has a question for the server and last night he wanted to add broccoli to his pepperoni pizza.  He always remembers to say please and thank you and all the boys were very well behaved.

Ian told me he knew that his napkin needed to go in his lap and that the outside fork was for his salad while the inside fork was for his dinner since he had learned that on Duck Dynasty the night before (who knew you could learn etiquette watching Duck Dynasty!?).

As they were looking around they noticed that the lady at the table next to us ordered an Oreo cheesecake and they all decided on the spot that's the one they wanted to try.  Since it was a new flavor, I wanted to try it too!

 Doesn't it look decadent?!  (It was so so soooo good!)

Picture courtesy of the Cheesecake Factory
It ended up being a very late night as I had to return my burger two different times to the kitchen since I ordered it medium- well and found it to be pretty bloody the first two times.

The manager came to our table a few times to apologize and offer to bring us additional fries or salads while we waited.  He got to joking with Alec and called him the broccoli kid, which made Alec laugh.

The boys were wonderful about sitting extra long and waiting for my meal.

They all ate their food while waiting and Evan remarked that everyone makes mistakes sometimes so the chef probably just made a mistake.

I think it's important that the boys never see us yell or get upset when mistakes happen at the restaurant.  They're bound to happen sometimes and while it would have been a huge deal a few years ago when the boys were younger and unable to sit still, it's really not a huge deal now.  As long as the restaurant is wonderful about helping when something goes wrong and tries to fix it, what more can you ask for? 

I want them to learn to go with the flow, yet to be assertive when something is wrong.

The manager remarked a few times about how wonderfully nice we were all being and really we could all tell how bad he felt.  He kept apologizing over and over and even assured me he went into the kitchen to talk to the chef himself the second time I ended up returning my plate.  The boys saw how helpful and apologetic the manager and waitress were being and we agreed that mistakes happen sometimes and it's OK.

The boys were in awe that we got a free order of French fries for them all to share while we continued to wait and we really did end up having a wonderfully fun night.  The manager personally delivered the final burger and it was fantastic!

By the time we were ready to order our cheesecakes no one had room for it anymore.  I told them they could all eat it for breakfast the next morning if they'd like.  I think they were all shocked.

 I could tell by the expressions on all their faces that they were thinking "Mom is letting them eat sweets for breakfast?!  That's just not right."

I shrugged and told my husband to pretend we were on vacation.

One morning of junk food isn't going to kill them.

Heck, if I had had to return my burger even one more time I was skipping dinner altogether and eating my cheesecake. 

Sometimes you've just got to let them eat the cake! 


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