Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Denny's Delectable Dining or 'Family Bonding at Denny's'

For those of you with kids that do not know, what I'm about to tell you might prove life-changing.  Not necessarily in the spiritual sense, but in the profoundly practical sense.

Denny's has Kids Eat Free every Tuesday and Saturday afternoon/evening from 4 PM on.  And, even better news, you can have 2 free kids meals for every adult entree purchased.

For a family of 5, 3 of which are children, this is a big deal.  We can take our entire family to Denny's for about the same as we often spend at fast food.  With tip, tax, and everything, we usually are out the door for somewhere between $23-$30.  Not bad.

Combine the deal with a lazy Saturday afternoon, and no surprise here, the result is often another fat-laden breakfast-dinner at Denny's.  It is now to the point that the manager recognizes us and greets us when we come in on Saturday night. 

While Denny's is not necessarily the most elegant restaurant, it is a great FAMILY restaurant.  It is kid friendly and typically has good food at good prices.

All of that pales in comparison to the family bonding time Ben and I have when we use the restroom.

I know that probably sounds a little weird at first glance, but we have actually developed 3 separate games that make restroom breaks less of a hassle and a lot more fun.

Game #1 - We race the girls.  Now, this is probably an unfair race right from the outset, as we are the only 2 boys, and there are 3 girls.  Combine that fact with how much slower girls are in the restroom, and the girls really never had a chance.  Except, of course, when they win.  But that doesn't happen very often, and when it does happen, it is only because of Game #2 and Game #3.

Game #2- The Sprinkle All Over Each Other Game-  I know this is a game played in a bathroom, but the sprinkle here is referring to what we do with the water left on our fingers after we wash our hands.  We both continue washing and quit at the same time, to ensure fairness.  We then face each other and flick our fingers/hands at each other as to ensure the absolute maximum amount of water is sprinkled on the other person.  I guess it's no wonder I sometimes get the strangest looks coming out of the bathroom.

Game #3- The Trash Can Toss- Once we have finished sprinkling each other, we both take a roll of paper towel, dry our hands off with it, and wad it up into a ball.  We then take turns trying to make it in the trash can.  Now the Denny's we go to makes this kind of difficult, as the hole for the trash can is just a small hole in the top of the vanity.  We often tie, but the last time we ate at Denny's, Ben made his first shot, and I didn't make mine until the 4th shot.  This makes him extremely happy.  He loves to beat his dad. 

I have heard it often said that the time you spend with your kids is very important.  I think that is very true.  Some say that the quantity of time is not that important- it's the quality of time that really matters.  I sometimes hope that is true, as it seems I never have the time I wish I had to spend with my 3 wonderful kids.  In my heart, though, I think that both are important.  I try to set aside some time each night to be with my kids, but it often seems it's not enough.  Homework, chores, dinner all can get in the way.

Or, they can just be part of the process of bonding with them.

That is why I developed the bathroom games.  Sometimes the silliest things mean the world to your kids.

I hope it's enough.

-The Poor Husband

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