Peking Grill in Brande, DK
Everyday when Marc comes home from work there is the same to-do list for us to conquer: cook the dinner, clean the kitchen, entertain the child, go for a run (for one of us). Today, we set it up that while I took E for a walk, Marc would run and then start on cooking and cleaning. During my walk it occurred to me that it might be a nice treat to bring home Chinese food from Peking Grill- one of the only restaurants in our little town.

Marc barely ever asks me if we can get food from a restaurant because I always say no. The food at Peking Grill is delicious. But, as with all restaurants in Denmark, getting dinner here is expensive. Spontaneously, I decide to order some take out for dinner. I think of it like my version of bringing home a bouquet of flowers- just because I love my man. He does so much for our family, I wanted to treat him to a surprise.

So, my walk with E turned into a walk plus waiting twenty minutes for our pick-up to be ready. Because it was a spontaneous decision, I really wasn't prepared to be waiting with a one year old in a restaurant. I had him outside for as long as I could, but it was cold and started raining. This restaurant is small, so I am waiting with E in his stroller and people are eating their dinner not so far off. I occupy E with nothing for as long as I can, but his hunger gets the best of him. He starts to whine, and then when I won't let him out of his stroller, he starts to scream.

So, thanks to facebook and the seemingly never ending debate that I have been hearing all summer about how horrible parents are when they have screaming children in public- I start to get anxious. E won't calm down. He only knows one way to tell me how uncomfortable he is. All I can do is talk to him, but doing that makes him realize that I know what he wants and so he just gets mad and cries even louder.

I start tearing apart the diaper bag, begging there to be a toy or digestive cookie lost somewhere in the bottom. I won't make eye contact with any of the diners. E continues to scream as loud as he can. I'm just about to give up. I start to go through the not-exactly-short process of putting the rain cover on the stroller so I can get E outside and distracted. Maybe the diners will have to hear him scream for another three minutes, but at least it will end for them. With every second, I can just feel the room judging me an unfit mother more and more... Then, the woman who is always the front of the house comes out from behind the counter with a bag of huge puffed rice chips and a sweet smile. 

She put a napkin down on the counter and dumped out a bunch of chips from the bag. She doesn't speak English so she couldn't actually say "here, these will help you" but she might as well have. I handed one to E, he crushed it and then realized it was edible. He was happily munching on his third chip when we got our order and headed home. So, E screamed for a couple of minutes- maybe the diners thought "omg this kid is going to ruin my meal," maybe they didn't. All I know is the restaurant woman could have stood behind the counter staring me down, but she supported me instead. It felt like one of those "only in Denmark" kind of moments.

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