Wonders Never Cease

The boys are not strangers to the inside of a restaurant. We eat out most Sunday lunches and we occasionally spring for a quick meal one other day during the week if I’ve been extra busy with work or just flat out don’t want to cook. All of the places we choose to eat are loud and family friendly because we know our tribe and even though we talk to them frequently about appropriate tone of voice, they tend to enjoy using their outside voice most of the time so we plan accordingly.

Monday night, though, Mr. CPQ came home to say we’d been invited to join another couple and a former city councilman at the downtown club for dinner and by the way, did the boys have dress clothes?

I thought, “Do the boys ever WEAR clothes?” might have been a better question.

We don’t really dress up during the summer because it’s hot and muggy and school and church are both casual environments, so the short answer was “No” and Mr. CPQ informed me that I needed to take the boys shopping because the club had a dress code and showing up in their Disney Pirates of the Caribbean t-shirts wasn’t going to cut it.

For them or me.

Now, I’ve been to this fancy shmancy place before. They have candles and fresh flowers on the table, heavy drapes over the windows, cloth napkins and real silverware. The waiters wear dark suits as they serve in a hushed environment as the pianist plays softly in the background.

Oh, this had disaster written all over it.

I sat the boys down and asked them if they remembered what I had said to them a million times at dinner. “Yes, ma’am. Would you do that if you were eating at the White House?”

I have this pathological fear that they will one day be invited to a state dinner and eat with one foot propped on their chair or twirling their spaghetti strand around like a lasso, sending it flying through the air and landing it in the lap of the social secretary and landing them on Page Six.

I told them that we had decided they were old enough to do something special and we were going to take them to a really nice place and that they were going to have to use their President Manners and wonder of wonders, they were so excited about such an experience that they didn’t fuss about having to wear closed shoes.

We arrived on time and as we stepped out of the elevator on the 21rst floor, I watched in quiet amazement as my boys smiled, shook hands politely with our company and walked quietly to our table.

They sat with their hands in their lap.

They did not put elbows on the table.

They chewed with their mouths closed.

They only twirled their spaghetti once.


They were.

I was so very proud of them.

Have a nice day.
P.S. Updated to correct a few typos because I wrote this on my phone in the hair salon this morning while the stylist was getting rid of the gray and cutting in side bangs.

P.P.S. The bangs  might drive me crazy before the day is out.

14 responses to “Wonders Never Cease

  1. Awesome!!! Although I must say I was hoping for just a smidge of drama!! Maybe just a lost shoe out the window on the way there that was easily recoverable and you were able to go on to an enjoyable dinner. Oh well, I’m sure today will have something fun to share for tomorrow!

  2. Whew!

    Kids tend to know when something is really important to us and can usually rise to the challenge.

    Good job, boys!

  3. I KNEW they would do wonderfully! Such gentlemen! Pictures?

  4. They have been paying attention to you after all! Good job mama.

  5. Woo hoo!!! How very exciting. I bet they loved the view of the city. You clearly are a wonderful mother. Or you had your taser under the table.

  6. Nooo, your poor boys haven’t noticed The Trap. You should never ever reveal what you’re capable of or you’ll find standards being raised left, right and centre ><

    Really though, you must be well chuffed. Clearly you've done an excellent job and the White House will confirm that when that fancy pants dinner happens 😀

  7. I’m not a bit surprised! They were perfect little gentlemen when we had lunch with you guys – granted the environment was a little different – animal heads on the walls, rattlesnakes in a nearby cage etc, but they were great! Glad you guys had fun!

  8. I’m not a bit surprised either! Your boys are wonderful!

  9. Mothers of pre-adolescent boys everywhere were lifting you up in prayer.

    You are now a testament that prayer works.

  10. Oh, how I love this.

    We went to a similar place tonight. I couldn’t wear my pirate t-shirt either.

  11. That IS such a proud “mom moment”!! Oh…how we need to see those “fruits of our labor” as parents. Way to go in raising up your young men to handle the white linen napkin test! 🙂

  12. Great job, guys! You just gave hope to moms the world over.

  13. I am so glad it went well. All the teaching does pay off when the time comes!

  14. So proud of your boys and so happy for you.
    Last time we went out to a nice dinner I looked over at my middle daughter and her gross, overly used napkin was practically sitting on the person next to her’s plate.
    I quietly tried to tell her to grab it and put it in her lap and she yelled “Mom it’s all gross” and threw it across the table to me.

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