The Pizza Hut was new so I don’t know why I expected anything other than the chaos I was looking at. Overwhelmed cashiers, hordes of customers, most of which were under the age of seven, eager to get their free personal pan pizza as advertised.
I had four such customers with me. Yes, I enjoy walking on the wild side. There just isn’t enough excitement in my life! Four eager diners and all four were tugging at my shirt trying to give their orders at once. As if I could hear above all the other children who were equally as exuberant.
“I want pepperoni on mine,” five-year old Johnny, small for his age but definitely loud, yelled above the din. “But no ‘shrooms ‘cuz they make me go to the bathroom.”
“Potty mouth, potty mouth . . . ,” seven-year old Christy, the informer, chanted. “You’re gonna get in trouble.”
My efforts to intervene before things got out of hand were wasted. Nobody could hear me, even if they were paying attention, which they weren’t.
“Cheese, cheese, cheese,” four-year old Bobby continued to say over and over, sparking two-year old Justin who joined in despite the fact that he could barely say the word cheese three weeks ago. In fact, he could barely say anything other than, “mamamamamama!”
Oh but cheese was the word now. Loud and boisterous, Bobby and Justin jumped up and down with no regard. Children behind them were overcome with their glee and started jumping as well. They didn’t want cheese on their pizza, they were simply inspired!
“You should control your children,” one mother said, promptly placing one of her joyous, jumping beans on her hip where he still bounced despite her efforts to stop him.
I simply turned and put in my order.
You see, I never asked the children what they’d wanted in the first place. They always order the same thing. They just take great pride and joy in telling me what they want. I guess it makes them feel important. I’m all for that but not when I’m in a crowded restaurant filled with my children’s peers who seem to feed off their enthusiasm.
The words of my husband come back to me as I pick Justin up, pull the two-year old close with my free hand. Silence Christy with a stern look that subsequently affects Johnny.
“Are you seriously going to take them without any help?” my husband had asked, his face contorting as it always does before I attempt to take on such a Herculian task that he absolutely can not understand!
“No, I’m fine,” I’d replied. “We do this all the time.”
Remembering these words, I smiled as silence prevailed. Well, silence from my own children that is. The others, the ones they’d sparked were still randomly shouting cheese every now and then. I smiled none-the-less and placed my order. Four Personal Pan Pizzas: two cheese, one pepperoni and one with mushrooms. The cashier takes all of the information and then looks directly at me.
“Would you like anything?”
“Not unless you have Personal Pan Peace!” I replied.
She stares blankly.
“Didn’t think so.”
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