Mom called, not from Jumping Jacks, but from Jungle Jacs. While Jumping Jacks costs less, the drive from BC to Ontario made logistics with toddlers a potential nightmare. Jungle Jacs won out. It was well past noon and she was just packing up her brood of six toddlers and four adults and making a move for lunch. She called to see if Dad and I wanted to join them at the White Spot.
The White Spot continues to be a Canadian institution, started over 80 years ago, it remains relatively affordable and offers up good quality food. It also has a history with sport in the province, the owner also owns the WHL’s Vancouver Giants, and the baseball stadium is named after the founder of the restaurant – one Nat Bailey. (The White Spot/Giants co-promotion makes total sense now.)
Dad and I arrived right around the same time as the rest of the conspirators and before everyone entered the lobby, the tears were flowing. They continued to flow throughout lunch. Most of the tears stemmed from them being over tired and over excited and ravenously hungry. One pair woke up at 6am and wouldn’t eat until 1am. Hence, short fuses for all.
The kiddos proved so apt to wail that I really wished I could play Whac-a-Mole with them. Each time they cried I could bop their noggins with an oversized mallet, watch them sink under the table but know that I’d initiated the next squalling preschooler.
Let’s recap the cries;
– Nolan – entered in tears because somehow he hurt his tooth with a drinking straw. WHACK! Enamel is hard. Toughen up!
– Kylianne – because Nolan wouldn’t stop crying. WHACK! No sympathy tears!
– Nolan – when he got Orange Juice instead of Lemonade. WHACK! Juice is juice!
– Kylianne – when her complimentary crayon broke. WHACK! Free colouring!
– Aisling – when princess-for-a-day wasn’t today. WHACK! Perma princess.
– Kylianne – didn’t want to share princess-for-a-day with Aisling. WHACK! Two princess, no problem.
– Grandpa – coffee accidentally spilled by Kylianne. WHACK! Free refills.
– Kylianne – Grandpa yelling at her. WHA… actually, this one was the one legitimate reason to cry. Bad Grandpa!
Then the fill finally, mercifully arrived, and… silence. As four hungry little ones devoured their meals with the hunger of starved hyenas. Marginal complaints about hot food.
The star of the lunch happened to be MacGregor who slurped back his milk in contented silence and never made a word of dissent when his Mac n’ Cheese came with the wrong side dish. As for myself, I behaved myself very well, not baiting the kids and even shifting down to feed the yearling Rowan when his Mommy needed to talk to his big sister.
As is my wont, I tried something distinct from the menu, a peanut butter, bacon and jalapeno burger and… damn if it wasn’t super tasty. The peanut butter worried me, but travels through West Africa taught me years ago that peanuts are for more than just grinding into paste.
Mom’s intentions were good. After a great morning of fun, frolics and flying down slides, she thought lunch out would cap the adventure. And it did. Just not in the manner she intended. In a few years, taking the kiddos out a bit late for lunch won’t be a bother, but when tears can fall from someone grabbing the wrong crayons or a fork falling to the floor… well… there’s a reason we were sat off by ourself and the rest of the diners gave us a wide berth.
All in all though, an entertaining meal with excessive waterworks.
White Spot Star: MacGregor (n’ Cheese) best behaved of the bunch.
White Spot Stinker: Grandpa for not apologizing gracefully when given the chance.