We didn’t notice until the people sitting at the table across the room started laughing and looking our direction.
Andrea and I halted our conversation and took a quick inventory of our kids surrounding us in the booth. Lydia was making a mess with her water glass, but it was nothing out of the ordinary. Clara was quietly attempting to sneak coins in and out of my coat pocket while I slapped at her hand like it were a fly. Gideon sat on the outside edge of the bench seat and smiled across the table at me, the sanest one of the whole group. Then, on a hunch, I leaned over and looked under the table.
“Gideon!” I placed my head in my hands. “Andrea, Gideon took his pants off.”
She lifted him to stand on the seat while I fished around on the floor.
“Gideon, why did you take your pants off?!”
The little boy furrowed his eyebrows at his mother and I, and then simply answered, “Eat?”
“Yes, we will eat later. But why did you take them off!”
He pointed at his mouth, “Eat!”
Andrea took the pants that I had retrieved and struggled to stuff the boy’s pudgy legs back into them.
“Gideon, we are at a restaurant. You don’t have to take your pants off to eat at a restaurant.”
He looked around the room and seemed to realize that no one else had removed their pants. His tired eyes widened, “Oooooh,” he said, as if someone had just explained a very technical algebra problem to him.
We sat him back down, and avoided eye contact with the family across the room. Lydia’s fist was now fully inside of her water glass, and I could feel my car keys slowly being extracted from my pocket while Clara nonchalantly pretended to lean forward to examine a ketchup bottle. But at least our boy was wearing pants.
Andrea and I looked at each other and sighed. Neither of us could even remember what we had been talking about. Oh that’s right. We were talking about how we need a vacation.