My magic trick
Taking toddlers out to a restaurant is an exercise in creative distraction. That’s not something I’ve had too much of a problem with in the past. Now, however, the banging and the singing are starting to lose some of their appeal and I’m having to stretch a little bit more to keep the kiddos engaged and interested.
The other day we were at a restaurant when I found myself alone with N. He was having a tough time staying at the table, and even though the other patrons were very understanding, I wanted to reel him back in. I was also trying to keep things happy.
Fortunately, I had been practicing a magic trick for just such an occasion. I snuck a curly fry off his plate and palmed it in my left hand.
“Hey little guy!” I whispered urgently, “what’s that in your ear?”
Okay, so it’s not terribly creative. Still, as long as it’s new to him, it’s all good. He looked at me, sort of tilting his head to one side. “ear?”
“Come here! Let me look!”
“Ear?” He raised his hand up to his ear and walked over to me.
Trying not to smile I reached out with my left hand and said “here, let me see what that is…” I touched his ear gently, gave it a little tug, and then produced the french fry. “Look at that! You had a french fry in your ear!”
“No! No French Fry!”
I showed it to him. “Yep, here it is.”
His little hand reached up and grabbed it out of my hand. I didn’t know he could move that fast. “No, No French Fry!” he said – and started stuffing it back into his ear.
Frantically, I tried to get the french fry out of his hand (and ear). He ducked my grab and kept pushing it in, all the time saying “No, no, no!”. I heard a few chuckles from the other restaraunt patrons as I just about tackled the little guy. He’d stuffed it in pretty far, but I got all of it. I hope so, at any rate.
I lifted him up and was putting him in his chair when his mom and older brother returned from the bathroom. “Everything okay?” she asked.
“Yep,” I said. “In fact, I was just showing him some magic tricks.” There was more chuckling from the tables around us. I think I even heard a guffaw.
N, meanwhile, shook his finger at me. “No! No French Fry!” He shouted.
“That’s right, little guy,” I said soothingly, “you don’t have to eat your french fries if you don’t want to.”
Note to self: in the future, stick to banging and singing.