Monday, April 23, 2007

Things I Forgot to Say

About our time in Sacramento:

Some friends of my husband's live in Sacramento, and so we went to dinner with them the first night to a popular restaurant, Buca de Beppi. After a significant wait, we finally were seated in a corner table located behind a large party with about as many kids as there were adults who were celebrating a birthday. OC was seated near the outside of the table rather than against the wall. This was in case of bathroom trips were needed, and they were, and so this was more convenient.

The birthday group were having a great time, with the kids climbing around and shouting while everyone talked over the noise. The mood at their table was boisterous and loud. The mood at ours was low-key, bordering on murderous, because none of us could hear a thing, or else you were forced to shout if you wanted to talk. We decided informally to wait to have our conversation because it looked like they would leave soon and because it was so much work to try to shout and listen when all we wanted to do was plug our ears with our fingers. They did leave, just before we had gotten our dinners.

We enjoyed the food and when we were done, I was surprised at what happened next. A man and a woman were seated next to us. They were in the middle of dinner and as we put on our coats they caught our attention and said, "Your child is a joy to be around. She is so well-behaved! It restores our faith in children. Thank you."

I wish I could take credit! OC is a naturally good kid. REALLY GOOD, in spite of my faulty parenting.*

I was SO PROUD of her. She is a great kid. She fits in to whatever we're doing while being her refreshing, honest, observant self. I made sure she knew that I was proud of her and why, even though she was right there when the compliment was given.

And now I will reveal the secrets to happy dining out with a child: Polly Pockets. All those little pieces can keep them occupied for hours while you sip your mojito and wait for the loud people to leave. Also? Take OC with you when you dine out. You will not be disappointed.

I also forgot to mention that, when we were in Old Sac, we went to the California Railroad Museum, and it is awesome! Even if you aren't particularly interested trains but like history, like myself, you will enjoy going to see it.

They have a sleeping train on display - among many, many others - and it is set to move back and forth as though the train were in motion. OC loved that! She took me through that one three times. There is a dining car set up with all the different dishes throughout the years. It's attached to the sleeping car so we went through that three times as well.

I felt like a kid again, watching those model trains go around and around on their loops of track, through the town buildings in the front and then disappearing behind trees and into tunnels in the back, only to emerge again in triumph. Yay! Trains are cool.

The best restaurant that we experienced in Sacramento was in Old Sac, and it was California Fat's. The Fat family came to Sacramento from China a long time ago and are well-known names in the town and have three or five restaurants, we never figured out the final tally. California Fat's is an Asian/California fusion (I don't think this word is used enough - fusion, fusion, fusion...) of taste sensations.

Most importantly, they have really good mojitos. And can I just say? OC was an angel in that place, too. That's why we can travel with her, you know. It's nothing I'm doing, it's her. She is the coolest kid ever.

Now that I've remembered everything, I think, I can tell you about the Nevada leg of the trip, with pictures, which will be a shorter post.

* It's not the first compliment I've gotten about her behavior. I used to have to bring her to work occasionally, if she had pink eye and couldn't go to daycare but was well enough to be out and about, or whatever. My previous boss was at first reluctant to have her there because he thought she'd be loud and obnoxious and into everything. You know, a normal, curious kid who gets bored? Yes. She'd sit in my cube or at the light table and draw, look at books, find office supplies to play with, pull things off the printer and take it to whoever printed it out, or visit my coworker's cubes for a little chat. On his way out of the office, my boss looked at her and told her with a smile that she is welcome here anytime, she was so well-behaved.

I can't take credit for it. I'm bragging about her, but it's not about me being some great parent. It's her.

I know how it is when, as a parent you can't necessarily get your child to behave a certain way. It happens to me all the time, more so when she was a toddler. That's called NORMAL. OC has a personality that makes her observant and act like the people around her are acting, mostly. She's six, and she does that more often all the time. If we're in a museum for example, she looks at what other people are doing and if they're quietly looking at displays then she quietly looks at displays. As soon as she is bored, she tells me quietly that she is bored and asks to leave in whispers over and over again until I cannot concentrate anymore and we leave.

She can last for hour-long funerals. She is perfectly content on overnight flights to Europe. I've complained about her enough, it's time to write about some good things.

You may be wondering why in the hell I ever complain about her. I can only offer that it is because I suck. Or, I have a low threshold for parenting. The point is, you should try California Fat's if you are ever in Sacramento. And take the kids.


marnie said...

That reminds me of last weekend. It was a friends 30th birthday party and the 10 of us went to dinner. Not long after we ordered they seated an older couple next to our large table. They kept looking at us... well staring us down would be a more accurate description.

We were not loud, we were chatting quietly. If we wanted to join the conversation at the other end of the table we switched spots with someone so we could talk quietly.

After the older couple finished dinner, the gentleman came over and told us that he was originally worried when they sat him next to a group of "teenagers" and he was "pleasantly surprised by our behaviour".

I find this funny because the average age of our group of "teenagers" was 35. I guess we are aging very very well!

OC is adorable as usual. Her eyes are gorgeous. She is going to be a knockout.

Lady M said...

What splendid little gal! I hope we're as lucky. I don't think you give yourself enough credit though.

Marti said...

What a great story. Your daughter sounds like a wonderful girl.