This article, entitled It's All Fun and Games Until Someone Pees on the Patio comes from Erin Ferris at chasingroots.com
Two weekends ago our family went out for dinner with friends at a local restaurant that hosts an outdoor back patio and...wait for it...a fenced-in playground. Now you might be thinking, "a playground for kids at a restaurant? What's so new and/or exciting about that? I take my kids to eat and play at Chick-Fil-A all the time!"
This restaurant isn't like Chick-Fil-A or McDonalds. This is a "regular" restaurant, where you don't order over the counter and adult beverages are on the menu. But unlike at a regular restaurant, you don't need an endless supply of coloring books and crayons, tic-tac-toe with sugar packets, or Angry Birds on your smart phone to survive dinner with your kids. You can sit on the patio, order and enjoy your drinks, order and enjoy your food, and then just relax, all while your kids burn off copious amounts of energy in the sandbox and on the jungle gym. I only just learned of this restaurant, but you can bet I'll be dining there frequently in the years to come.
Seriously, why are there not more of these restaurants?! If I had money to spend I'd already be halfway to building a coffee shop with a playground, a wine bar with a playground, a sports bar with a playground, an Italian restaurant with a playground, and a 50's-themed diner with a playground.
I've gotten off topic...
I happened to be positioned with my back to the playground, which suited me just fine because I knew the friends sitting across from me would let me know if Will used his karate skills without supervision or Hallie made another little kid cry. As dinner came to a close, Stacey stopped me mid-conversation and said, "don't turn around." If you're anything like me, when someone tells you not to turn around, you usually turn around. As I began to shift in my seat, Stacey repeated herself, "no, really. Don't turn around". But I did anyway. And I saw Hallie, standing right behind Tom on the patio, holding her dress up above her head and peeing.
I realize that four-year-olds have accidents, but COME ON.
I honestly think she was having so much fun playing that she didn't realize she had to go, and that when she finally did realize she had to go and came to tell us, it was too late. It wasn't too late, however, for her to protect her dress by pulling it up over her head and exposing her little butt to all those on the patio.
I assumed that because Tom was closest to Hallie he would address this situation. Ha. Tom spent 10 flustered seconds standing behind Hallie, waving his arms around her like a loony octopus. Stacey must not have been able to stand the level of ridiculousness we were about to reach, because at that point she looked at her husband, Aaron, and loudly exclaimed, "don't just sit there - get up and help him!" So then both men spent another 10 flustered seconds standing in Hallie's general vicinity, Tom wildly waving his arms (considering maneuvers that might successfully separate Hallie from her wet underwear, perhaps?) and Aaron clutching a napkin in his hands as if to shield her from a rogue enchilada. Watching those two try to figure out how to deal with Hallie was so funny that I almost peed my own pants.
Eventually I intervened, and five minutes later Hallie was clean and dry.
And don't worry about patio - Tom "took care of it" with sand. I guess we're still not quite done with potty training...