Monday, November 22, 2010

Is There Crab in That?

Ever had one of those times when you got really excited about something ... I mean REALLY excited about something ... and then it didn't quite live up to its expectations?  In fact ... it tanked?  It's always so disappointing when something doesn't quite pan out.  We had one of those experiences with our kids the other day.  It was definitely a head-shaker.

Around our house, we have a fun birthday tradition.  For one meal during the birthday weekend, the birthday person gets to pick where they want to go.  No input from other kids or parents ... which has led to some interesting dinners.  We have been to the Grand International Buffet, Chick-fil-A, Red Robin, and most recently, Red Lobster.  Now let me back up and say that none of my children have ever wanted to eat at Red Lobster.  Ever.  If fact, I remember driving by the restaurant one time and one of the children remarking about how yucky it would be to eat at the "pet store".  Eww.  So ... imagine our surprise when Norah requested a trip to Red Lobster for her birthday dinner.

She declared this desire several weeks before her celebration day with the interesting declaration, "I love crab."  I didn't recollect having every served her crab.  I did remember that any other attempts at feeding her fish or seafood has always been met with, "Blech.  Eww.  Gross."

Hmmm .... "Crab, huh?"

"Yep.  I love crab.  When I stayed with Auntie Allie and Nana I had some and it was delicious."

"Really?  Crab?  Are you sure?"

"Yep.  I love crab!"

In the days leading up to her birthday dinner, Brett and I continued to ask her if she was certain.  She was.  Aaron was thrilled as he loves shrimp and is almost always willing to try new things.  We knew Ashley and Lydia would probably be having mac-n-cheese and we tried to psych ourselves up for paying $4 for something we could make at home for $1.50.  In spite of our uncertainty, Norah stuck with her guns, "I love crab!"

So ... with such conviction and unshakeable belief, we headed to Red Lobster.

The girls and their lobster friends

As we walked in the front doors, the kids immediately ran over to the lobster tank.  There was a mixture of excitement, surprise ... and a little bit of "ewww"...  As we were seated by the hostess, Norah suddenly had a new comment, "It stinks in here.  What's that smell?"

To which Brett and I thought, "Crab", but said, "Fish".

"Uh-oh," I thought, "Here we go."

Sure enough, as Norah started pouring over the kid's menu, I could see her attitude changing.  She sat chewing her lip a bit, reading the menu intently.  After a few minutes, she looked up and with a sheepish grin asked, "Uh ... can I have the chicken fingers?"

It was at this precise moment that Daddy & Mommy had a choice to make:  Hold our little crab-lover to her claims or let it go.  We looked each other in the eyes, sighed in-synch and said, "Sure."

Was it frazzling?  Sure!  Here we were at a rather expensive restaurant (by someone's specific request) ordering something that they were NOT famous for.  If she wanted chicken, we should have gone to Chick-fil-A ... it's in their name!

Was it worth the battle?  Nope!  This was supposed to be a celebration and we wanted to keep it that way.  Even if it meant ordering Kraft Shells & Cheese and chicken nuggets ... at Red Lobster.  At least we were all eating our meals and enjoying out night out.

And as it turns out, Norah does love crab.

Not to eat, but to use as jewelry or utensils.  Who knew?!?

Her crab ring

Fashion hurts, sometimes!

Fancy new chopsticks ... perfect for french fries!

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