Monday, May 21, 2007

Night with Madeleine

It was four o'clock yesterday evening when Superdad's cell phone rang. It was my dad telling me he and Diana were only ten minutes away.

"Why?" I wondered.

Then I remembered. I was scheduled to chaperon a field trip Monday morning and Hank and Elisabeth would go to Silver Lake for the next twenty-four hours. I was sad to see the two little ones drive away, but recovered nicely.

"Let's do something extra special with Madeleine," I suggested to Superdad.

Into the house we went and changed into a suit for Superdad and dresses for Madeleine and me. "Lake Park Bistro," I said. In my opinion, it's the best restaurant in Milwaukee. Or at least my favorite, anyway.

Oops. Turns out you need a reservation, even early on a Sunday evening. The host, however, got us a table at Ristorante Bartolotta, another excellent area restaurant and still-- the most important consideration in Madeleine's opinion-- "fancy."

We arrived early; a full sixty minutes prior to our appointed reservation. No problem, a seat was found at the bar and a scotch was ordered (for Superdad), a Pinot Grigio (for me) and a giant, extra fruity Kiddie Cocktail (for Madeleine). Madeleine was the star of the restaurant with employees and guests alike querying her as to what, if anything, we were celebrating. "Nothing," was her shy reply. Nope, just a special night out with Mom and Dad. Madeleine, her shy personality usually eclipsed by her naughty brother and baby sister, basked in the glory of various adults paying her compliment after compliment.

When seated Madeleine continued to be impressed with all the trappings of what makes a restaurant, as she said, "fancy" as opposed to, say, McDonalds: the cloth napkins, the candles, being waited on hand and foot with no need going unmet. Every little detail was ooohed and ahhhed over-- even the food! Madeleine ordered the Polletto al Mattone (chicken, Brussels sprouts and potatoes) and loved everything but the potatoes (I thought they were delicious). She was even adventurous enough to taste Superdad's pheasant (which she liked!).

For dessert we ordered tiramisu and lemon tart and three big forks. Madeleine and Superdad preferred the lemon tart while I preferred it all.

Madeleine, much to my delight, was well behaved and quite chatty the whole evening. I worried she may not like the "weird" food-- she did. I fretted over whether she'd spill her drink-- a dropped fork was the extent of her mishaps. I wondered if she'd be able to sit in one place for a few hours and just talk and eat-- she can!

What an enjoyable time with Madeleine. Spending one on one time with any of the kids is such a treat, and last night was such a perfect evening in every way imaginable.


Superdad said...

It really was wonderful to take Madeleine out for a "fancy" supper. She was so well behaved and I was relieved that she responded to the adults who asked her many questions (she has become a bit shy this last year and I worry about it).

What a great evening. I can't wait for all the kids to be old enough for a "fancy" night out. But knowing my little Hankenstein, we have a few years to go!

I can't believe we forgot to take a single picture!!!!!!!

dad said...

a wonderful way to spend an evening with your oldest child. Madeleine deserved the attention. the younger ones (hank, elisabeth) had to settle for macaroni and cheese, leftover grilled chicken and bean salad, and then pace themselves through an evening of bike rides, "baseball" and horseshoes. we'll do it again soon.

Megan said...

Sounds like a wonderful evening Cait! I'm always amazed at how well my children behave when I have them one on one, it's like they are different children from the antics of when they are together.
What a special evening for all three of you!

terri said...

Great idea! How special for her. I can barely believe our girls are old enough for dinners beyond McD's.

I'm guessing your conversation was more grown-up than the conversation at another dinner recently...

it's me, Val said...

You had such a good time that you forgot to take a picture. Now THAT is priceless :)