Things started out great. The kids were in a good mood; they were hungry and ready to eat. So off we went to the restaurant for dinner. The kids decided they wanted to eat outside and since it wasn't unbearably hot, we agreed. And so we sat. And we ordered.
Jay decided to take the kids in to play some vending machine games to kill time until our food came. A few moments later I saw Megan come flying out the door. She had the hugest smile on her face and was carrying a gray stuffed elephant. She obviously won it from the vending machine with the grabber thingy. You know the one. It's the machine that is nearly impossible to ever get anything from where no one ever wins. But she won! Then I saw Jay following close behind and one look on his face and I thought, "Uh oh. There is no way they won twice in a row." Sure enough, plodding along behind Jay, trying to hold back his tears but not doing a good job at it, was little Jack.
That was the turning point and from there the meltdown started to take place. First and foremost, it was the elephant and the constant questioning by Jack about the elephant and why does Megan get a toy and can he touch the elephant and hold the elephant. All of which was mildly irritating but I could see his point. He did kind of get the shaft in the deal.
Then there were the bugs. Little gnats that kept swarming Jack's head. He kept complaining he was getting bit and with every dive bomb of a gnat, the whining got more urgent and impassioned. To help get his point across, Jack kept swatting at his face while he whined, "They're biting me! I'm serious. They're biting me!"
And then Megan turned on me. 2/3 of the way through the meal, and halfway into her spaghetti with meat sauce, Megan turned to me and said, "Why did you order this for me? I don't like this kind of sauce." I looked at Jay like, oh no she di-dn't just try to blame this on me. Jay defended my honor and told her next time she should speak up and order something different and would she like a piece of bread? Which was a genius move by him because she got side tracked by the loaf of bread with butter which was lucky for me because that ended her tirade.
Jack was beyond done at this point. He just wanted out of there and started in on Megan. "Megan, when are you like going to be done with your noodles? You are taking too long, like for hours!" Which of course caused Megan to bring her bread eating speed from Kobayashi-hot-dog-eating-contest-style to a snail's pace.
It was right after I looked at Jay and said, "It's the heat. The heat is making them crazy." when Jack pretty much just lost control and out of frustration gasp, slapped Jay in the arm. I think I may have audibly gasped and thought to myself, "Whoa. He's gonna geeeettt it." You could tell by the look on Jack's face that he knew he made a big mistake and it reminded me of the time when I was in high school and I got in trouble for having a party at my house when my parents were out of town. I remember so clearly my dad saying to me, "You will not have a party in our house." I snapped, "Well, I don't see what the big deal is. It's my house too." And then I ran. Fast. Like roadrunner fast back to my room because I knew my dad was coming after me from that comment.
But Jack wasn't so lucky. He was cornered at the table and didn't have anywhere to go. Jay looked at him in disbelief and said, "Did you just hit me?" And then Jay started removing Things That Are Fun For A Four Year Old- Like dessert. Like going back to the vending machine for another shot at a toy. Like the Burger King trip planned for the next day.
Then we left. Jack whimpered the whole way home and I went to get him out of the car. I opened the door and Jack looked at me and said, "Daddy ruined half of my life!"