If you've known me for any length of time, you know that I enjoy a good bargain. And really, there is no better bargain than FREE!.
Thanks to the ever informational Facebook, I found out today was dress like a cow day at Chik-fil-a. If you dressed up like a cow, you got free lunch. A whole meal... at Chik-fil-a... for free. Um, we were totally going to make that happen! The reaction of my two kids pretty much sums up their personalities to a tee. Emily was pumped. She couldn't wait to get dressed up. Drew totally refused. No way, not happening, I'm not doing that, it's dumb. We were locked tight in negotiations. Me, threatening to just take Emily, him still refusing. Me, saying things like, "Free! Do you hear me?? Free!" Him saying, "Still dumb." Finally, he got a sly little grin on his face and he said, "I'll dress up if you dress up." The kid nailed me. The truth of the matter is, I'm just like him. Or he's just like me. Or whatever. We are the "please don't look at me" kind of people in any and all situations. Walking into a public place in costume does not rank high on the list of things we want to do. But, the cheapskate in me sucker punched the introvert. Costumes all around!
By the time we were ready to go, Drew was pumped. It was fun, not dumb. I was the best mom ever, not the worst. This is the pendulum we get seasick on everyday!
I made sure we got to the restaurant early, knowing that it would probably be crowded. When we got there it was me and one other lady there dressed up, with our kids. Gulp. But, because my kid did not need to see me flinch, I marched in there like wearing construction paper cow ears was THE COOLEST THING EVER. Did I mention I made pink balloon udders? Yeah. I did. The costumes were a hit and all my embarrassment melted away when I got three meals for $0.
The kids were having a blast and getting ready to go into the play area when I spotted something outside that made my blood run cold. A cow mascot. Have I mentioned how my daughter feels about a mascot? Not good, friends, not good. So, I said in my most mild mannered voice, "Emily. Don't freak out. I just want you to know there is a cow mascot outside." Her eyes got as big as saucers. She whipped her head around and looked back at me in a state of sheer panic. A few minutes later, the cow mascot came inside. I could feel her panic rising from across the table. So, I beelined it to the "cow handler" and asked her to please keep the cow FAR AWAY from my kid. Convinced that the cow would keep his distance, Emily went off to play.
They were having a big time playing. Emily, in true fashion, had already made a new friend. And that's when I saw the cow make a break for it. He was leaving the capable company of his handler and was walking straight towards the play area. I looked over to the giant fishbowl-esque window only to see my daughter plastered to the window, SCREAMING her head off. I jumped up and grabbed her as quick as I could. By this point, the cow handler had steered the cow back towards the other end of the restaurant. But, sadly, we were done. Emily was shaking. Her heart was beating a million miles a minute and she was sweating. Poor girl. This is a seriously real phobia.
On the other hand, I'm the kind of mom who gets cracked up about inappropriate things. As Emily sat on my lap trying to catch her breath, all I could think about was her plastered to that window in panic. I started laughing and I couldn't stop. It was like inappropriate church service laughter that you can't contain. There is nothing like a little girl with wild hair, in a cow costume, freaking out behind sound proof glass. Good times.
At least I didn't have to pay for lunch.