Tuesday Musings

I did what all mothers do from time-to-time. I bribed.

If they just hung with me for several errands, our last errand at IKEA would end in an ice cream cone. IF they behaved. IF they didn't throw fits. IF they got along. I honestly don't do this very often, but today was just one of those days.

So they hung with me and pretty much did what I asked. Pretty much. I mean really. What kid doesn't want ice cream?

So, we got our cones and proceeded to the sitting area. Alas, no seats.


But, it all worked out. Listen.

Stranger Lady {noticing that I had two little kids and nowhere to sit}: "Here, sit with us. I know, you Americans don't do that, but we Europeans do."

Me {All the while thinking to myself, you haven't seen Jackson eating an ice cream cone, lady. It gets ugly. Really ugly.}: "Oh, I don't want to bother you."

Stranger Lady: "No, really. Sit with us. We can share the table. I only need two seats and you need a place to sit with those little ones."

Me: "Okay. Great."

So we sat down with Gabrielle from Germany and visited for probably half an hour. Her son, Michael and husband, Bill, eventually joined us and we talked about everything from politics to socialized medicine to the military to life with kids. {I somehow faked my way through the politics conversation. I'm so NOT politically inclined.} They shared the differences between Germany and America and while they missed Germany, they were grateful for their time in America.

I LOVE people from other cultures. At one point, the dad and son got into it about American health care and they instantly switched over into German. And then the mom piped up, "They love to argue." {I so wish I knew German because I wonder if they were secretly saying, "Why does mom ALWAYS invite strangers to sit with us? Can't we sit without having to talk to people we don't know?"}

So good for her for just saying it like it was. "You Americans wouldn't ever sit at the same table with strangers, but we do. So come sit with us!"

So there. The next time I see someone looking for a place to sit, I'm going to invite them to our table, just like that. Why not? I got to meet some great people today, and my children were angels because they didn't know these strangers so they sat there, just wondering exactly what was going down.

All that at IKEA. I think I'll go back very soon. {Especially now that Jackson is tall enough to go into the kiddie-land, which means one kid-FREE hour for Mama. I never thought the day would come.}


Cleary said…
At the beach/boardwalk in maine we were eating lunch at a table and a family came up with 3 kids and had no where to sit - so i said "Sit with us!" And they did. (Then the biggest seagull I've ever seen proceeded to swoop in and steal chicken off of their son's plate :))But, my point is, I didn't think anything of asking them to sit down with us. It just made sense!
Kacie said…
awww how fun! and boy, would I have loved to participate in a German family discussion of American healthcare! ;)
Alysa said…
Cleary - that's great that you invited the family to join you! How fun. Bummer about the chicken being stolen! =) Good for you! What a great example to your kids, too.
Alysa said…
i meant to add - i think for me and in the past, i would just say, take our extra chairs, or, our kids can sit on our laps and you can have 2 extra chairs, but not really thinking through the option of actually eating our meals together ... definitely being polite and helpful in trying to help them solve their situation, but not necessarily seeing our restaurant table as a place where they could sit and eat with us.

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