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Bano Carcel

For the most part when Susan’s out of town, the kids and I eat dinner in restaurants. I have a mental pool of kid-friendly restaurants that consists of Chinese places, Mexican places, Italian places, fast food places, and so on. The restaurants on this list have been determined by me to be kid-friendly, based on my own personal criteria. It goes without saying that these restaurants have food that the kids like, but there are more factors involved. For example, if it’s a buffet, it needs to be set up to where I can see both our table and the food at the same time. That’s why for Chinese food, Yukon’s Super Buffet is on the list but Lin’s Chinese Palace is not. Basically the list is a collection of restaurants that I’ve taken the kids to by myself and not had any serious drama.

One of the places on our list is Taco Mayo. Both the kids and I like Taco Mayo’s food, they have kid-friendly seating, it’s clean and relatively quiet … it just works for us. Last night on the way home from work, I asked the kids what they wanted to eat. Mason said pizza, Morgan said bean burritos, so we made a deal; yesterday was Taco Mayo night, tomorrow is CiCi’s Pizza night (tonight, the kids are visiting granny).

We got to Taco Mayo and, of course, Morgan had to use the bathroom. I don’t remember Mason going through this phase, but Morgan has been in her “peeing across Oklahoma” phase for some time now. Morgan has peed in every restaurant, business and home she’s ever been in. In fact, having accessible restrooms is something I take into consideration when putting restaurants on “the list”. Taking Morgan to the restroom in any situation isn’t a surprise.

So Morgan’s in the bathroom and Mason and I are standing outside the women’s restroom (which doesn’t look suspicious at all) when all of a sudden I hear the “click” of the deadbolt sliding into place on the bathroom door. Not a deadbolt you turn, but one of those manual, sliding locks. It only took Morgan a second to realize she was now locked in the bathroom, alone.

And then, she freaked.

Morgan screamed long and hard at the top of her lungs. With that kind of lock, I really only had two options: wait for her to figure out how to undo the lock, or kick open the door. I figured I’d try the first for a while and if that didn’t pan out, try the second.

There were only two or three tables full of of customers in the dining room, and all of them were watching this drama unfold. Morgan screamed so loud that eventually the manager came to see what was going on. For those of you who haven’t visited Taco Mayo, the two furthest points in the restaurant are where the manager stands, and the restrooms. If he heard her, everybody heard her. I would be surprised if the people in drive-thru couldn’t hear her.

About the time the manager arrived and I was inspecting the door jamb to see if it was going to take one kick or two to get through, Morgan managed to flip the lock back and the door popped open. The princess was saved. Customers went back to eating. The manager went back to working. Morgan dried her tears. Mason rolled his eyes. I was just glad that I didn’t have to pay for a kicked in door.

For the record, Taco Mayo is still on “the list”.

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