IHOP–the U.N. of breakfast

This is part two of our punkin’ pickin’ saga . . .

As I followed the Google Maps directions off the highway and down winding roads toward this place, I looked at Mama, who was sitting in the rear seat to keep 3B from squawking, and she looked at me, and we both said, “Maybe we should go somewhere where it won’t matter if he fusses.”

Hello, IHOP.

The sign of a fine restaurant

The sign of a fine restaurant.

IHOP, home of cinammon roll french toast, where you can’t just get an omlette; you have to get three pancakes with your omlette–which is made with pancake batter mixed in, because eggs don’t have enough calories, and stuffed with some damn thing like chili. No wonder we’ve developed an obesity problem in this country–people now consider this a normal serving of food. How long before 3B pushes away his bowl of fiber-filled cereal and asks, “Where’s my bucket o’ hash browns?”

Hell, the servings we got were enough to feed us, the family at the next table over, and Barky . . . oh yeah, Barky. He’s in the car, it’s 6:30 p.m., we’re at least an hour from home, and he hasn’t eaten dinner yet.

So we waddled out to the car, fired up Google Maps, and started winding our way back to the highway and home. Have I mentioned how much I love the new Google Maps for the Treo? I love it thiiis much. Really, it’s freakin’ genius–we’ve used it to dodge traffic at rush hour and find new routes and new places to go. Genius, I say!

Which is to say that it’s better at planning trips than either one of us. We decided that even though 3B was fussing a little as we left IHOP, Mama would ride in the front seat because 3B would probably settle down and sleep on the way home. We agreed to let him fuss for 15 minutes or so, to see if he would get himself to sleep, before pulling over to let Mama get in the back with him–he’s still in a rear-facing car seat, so if anyone’s going to soothe him, they have to be in the back seat. And, no, Barky is no help when 3B’s crying–Barky presses himself up against the door, trying to get as far away from that noise as possible.

Sooo . . . at the very first rest area we come to, Mama hops in the back to try to calm the now screaming 3B. I’m not saying that it was loud, I’m just saying that cars were slowing down and pulling over because they thought they heard a siren, that’s all.

Mama tried rattles, toys, funny faces and noises–everything she could think of, short of taking him out of the car seat. We knew he wasn’t hungry, since he had eaten at IHOP–chili-cheese hash browns and deep-fried biscuits and gravy–and that he was exhausted, since he hadn’t napped in awhile, but how to get him to sleep in the car seat?

Somewhat out of desperation, I switched from the CD we were listening to over to FM, and tuned the radio to the static between stations and cranked up the volume to fill the car with white noise. It’s a trick out of Happiest Baby on the Block, but not one that we’ve had success with in the car. Maybe we just hadn’t given it enough time. After about 10 minutes of the white noise and Mama wrapping her hands around him as best she could, he was almost completely settled down. Soon after that, he zonked out and slept the rest of the way home, during which Mama and I barely whispered a word to one another.

He woke when we got home and loaded up his new ride with the pumpkins that he now had only 24 hours to carve before Halloween, but when we got home, he went back to sleep as though nothing unusual had happened.

Who said strollers are for babies?

You love the “wood” paneling in our elevators, don’t you?

For all of that, I sit here typing this the morning after Halloween looking at two uncarved pumpkins.

Oh well.

Maybe we’ll get it together for pumpkin pie by Thanksgiving . . . if that new Google Maps will plan it for us.

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  • Unfortunately, I don’t think pumpkins like that can be used for pie. Know anyone with a trebuchet? They look good for hurling.

  • Sorry, you lost me after you mentioned IHOP. Best ghetto food you can get. What did 3B have? Do they still have the Rooty Tooty Fresh and Fruity? Or what about the Passport Special? I love those.

  • Yeah, but the “punkin” picking is way more fun (and way less messy) than the “punkin” carving. And I’m afraid boutros is right about their pie worthiness.

    Your description of IHOP could have just as easily been of our local old people restaurant, where everything comes with a side of pancakes. WFT??? A SIDE of pancakes??? And what’s for dinner? A steak with a side of deep fried pork chops? (or, in your case, a tofurky with a side of setan cutlets…)

  • Uh, for one thing, those pumpkins make excellent pies. I have made many a pie with them. Most “pumpkin” you buy in cans is actually acorn squash. Similar, but nothing matches home made.

    (To cook with it, cut it in half, scoop out the brains, turn it open side down on a cookie sheet and put it in an oven to let it steam itself soft. Details available for those who care about their B vitamins.)

    Thing #2: As Papa well knows, MrJumbo has been serving an extended tour of clandestine duty in Denny’s, as part of a complex negotiation over interstitial networking capabilities.

    Denny’s is famous for its Grand Slam Breakfast, which is basically two of everything–2 pancakes, 2 eggs, 2 strips bacon, 2 sausages, 2 napkins, etc.

    Lately, for the same price, Denny’s has been offering an Extended Grand Slam Breakfast, which is 3 of all the same things.

    It has been SO difficult to explain to many servers that no, MrJumbo really will content himself with the ordinary Grand Slam; 50% more is not required, even if it costs nothing more at the register.

    Oddly enough, MrJumbo estimates that most of those same servers outweigh MrJumbo by about 50%. Coincidence?

  • I haven’t been to a Denny’s since we moved to NY, but back in Sacramento our servers were always looking a bit on the, well, speed-freak side. They were definitely not noshing on the Grand Slam. Denny’s is, however, a great place to go if you want somewhere that can deal with fussy children. Now we go to the Nanuet Diner, also a home for “meals larger than your entire abdominal cavity” and “thank God this place has paper placemats, because with these two crayon stubs I can keep the Huntlings occupied for 8.3 minutes.”