Plans and What Kids Do to Them

The first night of vacation, I had a brilliant plan. Go to Mrs. Knott’s for dinner because they give your ridiculous amounts of food, food that has to be brought home, food perfect for a lunch at the picnic tables outside of Disneyland.

Mrs. Knott’s is the restaurant that built Knott’s Berry Farm amusement park. The line to get into to the restaurant was so long that Mr. Knott built attractions to occupy people as they waited to get some of that delicious friend chicken. The restaurant today still uses Mrs. Knott’s recipes. An adult dinner, though slightly pricey, gets you a salad, chicken noodle soup, a vegetable, mash potatoes, 4 pieces of fried chicken, and a dessert.

My brilliant plan was to have Tornado E order an adult meal, eat what he could, and then take the rest for lunch at Disneyland. But Tornado E didn’t want to order an adult meal because a few months ago he had been with his dad, ordered the meal, and was berated for not finishing it. (Honestly most adults can’t finish the meal.) I assured Tornado E that he only had to eat what he could. Then he wanted to order chicken-and-dumplings. What? No! That’s what I’m getting, and I want the fried chicken. We’ll share. Then he wanted chicken strips. Stop messing with my plan, child!

Plan B. Everyone orders what they want, and I’ll order chicken from the to-go place.

We arrived at the restaurant a couple of hours from getting into California from our 8 hour drive. Tornado E conceded to my plan with the promise that he only had to eat what he felt like and could have some of my chicken-and-dumplings. Tornado A ordered macaroni and cheese; while, Tornado S ordered chicken legs. I ordered the chicken-and-dumplings. The waitress, bless her heart, told me I could order it without the meal, but I could not pass up an opportunity to have chicken noodle soup.

The kids meals came with a large slice of Jell-O. Tornado S got mash potatoes with his chicken. Along with the meal, we got a huge plate of biscuits. The boys ordered boysenberry punch because Walter Knott bred and produced boysenberries.

Our first courses came, and the two younger boys tried my soup. Then I had to fight them off. Down, boys. It’s a cream based chicken noodle soup, and it’s heavenly. Tornado S contented himself by begging Tornado E for his salad. Eventually Tornado E relented just in time for the rest of the meal to arrive.

Tornado E was too full to eat anything, until Tornado A didn’t want his macaroni and cheese, which was a homemade recipe with cheddar cheese sprinkled on top and broiled. Tornado E ate Tornado A’s macaroni and cheese; while, Tornado A ate Tornado E’s mashed potatoes. Tornado S ate one chicken leg, Tornado E’s salad, and his corn. I relished half my chicken-and-dumplings until I was regrettably too full. While I mourned all that delicious food going to waste, the boys chimed up to try it. In the end, there was only a quarter left. We ended up with 5 pieces of chicken, one for all of us and my best friend, for lunch.

For dessert, the boys had boysenberry sherbet, and I had boysenberry pie. We spent dessert talking about the importance of tipping. I had Tornado E figure out the tip.

We spent the rest of the evening exploring the shops and running back to the restroom where Tornado A would do his business. Because he’s been having potty issues, I rewarded him with candy of his choosing before realizing it was nearly bedtime and we had an early day that next morning.

We raced back to the hotel room where I got everyone in bed, settled, and read them a bed time story. They all went out like lights which was surprising because they all had slept a little on the ride over, but then they had been with their dad for 5 days without a bedtime and allowed to get up before 6am.

As I paced around the room to get my steps in, the time ticked on. Until Tornado A started vomiting. EVERYWHERE. I grabbed a towel to catch some of it. By the fourth hurl, I had enough sense to tell him to go to the bathroom. He tagged the pillows, the sheets, the blankets, the towels. In the bathroom, his messy hands held onto the shower curtain as he hurled. It took another couple towels to clean the mess. I wiped him down with a hand towel. I took all the dirty blankets, except the bottom sheet, off the bed and tried to clean them. I laid down another towel on the bed and put Tornado A back to bed.

I cleaned as best I could.

Tornado A has a touch of motion sickness. With all that food, well, it didn’t sit right.

I got into bed with him later, worrying that he was sick or that he wasn’t done.

He was. He was fine. The next morning he was fine.

Before Disneyland, I warned the front desk and left a large tip on the bed.



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