It was the birthday of Girl 1 (and, yes, English is my native language - I just have trouble with possessives and numerals) this past Saturday. In the dysfunctional way that only our family can be, we ended up at a local diner for her celebration dinner. Although she was only turning nine, this diner is notorious for being a geezer house. As in: There is usually no one under 87 in the diner dining, and the waitresses (as kind as they are) all kinda resemble Flo.
So, there we are dining on meatloaf, mashed potatoes, really soft green beans, and jello (I am exaggerating, but not by much) when the three year old decides to go south (figuratively and literally). She had been slowly making a downward spiral (as evidenced by the amount of food under her high chair) when all of a sudden I noticed she had scooted down low in her restaurant issued high chair.
It was about an hour past her bedtime and she was being especially ornery, so I mostly just ignored her. This continued for about five minutes until I noticed this:
I wasn't too concerned because although her head was wedged abnormally in what could be considered a tight spot, she wasn't really complaining too much. I think I said, "Get back up in your chair," or something like that and continued eating.
Then a few minutes later she started to make little squealing sounds. I looked at her and it did indeed appear that her head was stuck. So, like any good mom, I grabbed her by the armpits and tried to hoist her back on to the seat. It was then that I noticed because of the slant of her body - I might need back-up. Meanwhile, Girl 2 had noticed what was going on and had moved from her seat at my left to "help." She helped by mostly loudly saying to me, "MOM, help her." I think it was about then that I was struck with a horrible case of the giggles. I plain could not stop laughing at the situation.
By then the geezers had started to stare and some of the Flos had slowed down with their trays to gawk at us. My observant and serious son had come over from his spot at the other side of our table to say, "MOM, CAN YOU STOP LAUGHING? JEESH, MOM. THIS IS NOT REALLY FUNNY. You need to help baby." That only made me laugh harder and tears started coming out of my eyes.
A few seconds later hubby finally noticed what was happening and I think I said (or tried to say through my laughter), "I'm gonna need some help over here, babe." It was then that he sprang into action. If you are a longtime reader you know that hubby's true calling in life was to be a fire fighter. He's not one. But, every chance he gets to save people in a fire related incident he goes above and beyond. He literally jumped out of his seat with this look of terror in his eyes. Of course, that made me laugh so hard I had to turn away from the crisis. He started to yank baby back up.
By then, Girl 1 was saying loudly, "TURN HER HEAD, DAD. PUSH HER THROUGH!" He tried, but she has ears, so that didn't work. Meanwhile baby was saying loudly, "I'm stuck! Help me!" At some point hubby said to me, "Babe, I don't know what to do." I remember helpfully saying through tears which just kept coming, "What do you want me to do? Get a hacksaw? She got down there, she's gotta come back up." While Boy Child kept saying, "MOM! PLEASE STOP LAUGHING! CAN YOU PLEASE BE SERIOUS?"
Oh man. We have a bit of a history regarding making scenes in restaurants. This may be a another one that does not invite us back. She did eventually get out and hubby plopped her (a bit violently) back on a real chair. Whereupon in classic Our Family style she kicked the highchair and said, "I hate that highchair." Nice. She won't need therapy later.
I know I've taught my kids well because immediately after the crisis was over Girl 1 said, "Aw, man, mom. Why didn't you videotape that??? We could've won something."
I'll try to keep my kids safe until next time, but I'm not making any promises.