Wednesday 07 Dec 2016

Hooters and Kids
Jennifer Flaten

Welcome to "so mom, what are we going to do now?" This time of year is Spring Break. Though Spring Break isn't as long as summer break, thank gawd, it doesn't have the same wow factor as Christmas Break.

Now, if you have a nice sunny Spring Break then everything is aces. If, on the other hand, you have a surprise blizzard or rain, must I write I reside in Wisconsin or Ottawa, well then really, all you can do is hide in the closet with a box of Oreos. Do you have a better suggestion?

I must hear some variation of 'what are we going to do now' at least fifty times in an hour. Kids, it turns out, have a shorter attention span then I do.

Apparently, the small children mistake me for a cruise director. As far as their concerned, I should print up a list of the coming day's activities and slip it under their stateroom door every evening. That way, in the morning while eating a leisurely breakfast they can peruse the day's offerings.

Ah, if only, believe it or not, I feel that children should-brace yourselves-entertain themselves' cue gasps of horror.

Now, this doesn't mean I won't do fun stuff with them I do, but can I help it that they don't find shopping for strappy summer sandals fun?

Actually, I try to arrange some activities so we get out of the house, otherwise it will degenerate into ultimate cage fighting by 10am.

One of my favorite activities is going out to lunch. Yes, that qualifies as an activity-we get out of the house, the kids get food and I don't have to make yet another PB & J sandwich. It is a win-win situation if you ask me.

Just getting out of the house with the kids is an activity in and of itself. Trust me, Cook made it to the Arctic with less planning and gear then we require for a brief visit to the store.

I grab purse and keys, oh yeah, and the kids. I am ready to go. The kids, well, the kids always have to bring something along in the car.

I swear if I told them to get in the car to drive the 1000 feet to the mailbox, they would yell "let me get something to read in the car."

The other day, after cramming kids and "accessories" into the car, we proceeded to scout out a place to eat lunch. We wanted a place that would make all three children happy. I hoped for a restaurant that didn't feature a clown or cartoon character; this would make me happy.

I am quite convinced. If I find that place, other mythical creatures, such as dragons, unicorns and the perfect purse, would inhabit it.

Anyway, as we zipped along, we passed a bright orange sign. It was a Hooters restaurant.

Oh, yeah that's right they opened one up in our town. I vaguely recall a huge kerfuffle about the signage; our town is big on signage, and the potential to corrupt the kids. Uh, isn't that what the Internet is for?

Naturally, the kids spot it and start asking questions about it. Soon I am answering a barrage of questions. Yes, it is a restaurant. No, and I don't think it's a place that kids would like. Why won't kids like Hooters? Well, geez, I don't know, think, damn it, think.

Sensing weakness, the kids start chanting "hooters, hooters." Oh, that is just so wrong on so many levels. I must nip the chant in the bud; never mind the chant: I need a nip.

Aha! I do have two girls and only one boy. I casually tell them Hooters only serve spicy food and only sports on the television.

Ta Da! The girls have no interest in going to the restaurant at all, unfortunately, that leaves cartoon clowns or PB & J sandwiches

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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