Hibachi PTSD

Today, I regret to inform all of you that I must officially withdraw my name from consideration for Mother of the Year.

Sad but true.

The reason? No, not the profanity I use with my General Contractor (there is a loop hole clause for that, you know).  No, not the introduction of Entenmanns Chocolate Pop ‘Ems to my kids (this is a rite of passage).

No, no.  My application withdrawal shall be filed under the category of Hibachi Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, hereafter known as HPTSD.

In my quest for a fun change of scenery on the 298th third day of Winter Break, I remembered I had an unused Groupon for a hibachi place near our house.  Then I learned that it was Kids Eat Free Night.  And there was a FourSquare promotion there as well.  Extreme Couponers have nothing on my iPhone and me.

iCouponing aside, I figured my kids would marvel at the fun hibachi displays that the chefs put on.  You know, a little knife-throwing.  Some fire.  Tossing food into patrons’ mouths. It’s not unlike how we eat at home.

Plus, they have a big bar at this place.  Just saying.

I had all good intentions.  New experience for the kids.  Booze for the parents.  Fried rice for all!

What could be bad about this?

Let me count the ways…

First, never go somewhere during Kids Eat Free Night.  Ever.  I can’t believe I made such a rookie mistake.  The noise level was just beyond anything the human ear can tolerate.  My kids had their hands glued to their ears.  My kids.  Thought it was too noisy.  Oh, the irony.

Also? It turns out that the knife tossing and fire display was not entertainment as much as, shall we say, abject terror for my kids.  I won’t post a photo of them because it’s plain mean and they’ll kill me when they are old enough to read this. But I found this one of other people’s kids, which I think gives you a fair indication.


So there were my kids.  Both ears covered, while whining and cowering down at the base of their chairs.  The chef, having zero experience with either kids or humanity in general, then goes for the big guns and starts the hibachi game of “catch this piece of food in your mouth.”  Cute for those who understand.  But my kids, unfortunately, thought they were being assaulted with steaming hot shrimp and chicken.  More screaming.

“No fire!”

“Don’t throw that food at me!”

“It’s soooo loud in heeeeere!”

“Fire!  Fire!  Noooo!”

I mentioned they had a big bar, right?

And just when we felt we had managed them through this trauma — the birthday songs began.

Have you seen the hibachi approach to birthdays?  It’s usually over the top.  Here, it involved a disco light, loud music (more noise, yay!), and an employee with a big light-up hat who grabbed the guest of honor by the arms, and yelled “Banzai!” repeatedly.  The birthday boy in the restaurant seemed to enjoy this.  Most of the patrons smiled and clapped. And even yelled “Banzai!” in unison.

Not my kids — this was the last straw.  They were horrified.  They thought this boy was being attacked.

“Why is that man grabbing the boy by the arms?  He’s screaming at him!  What’s happening?  It’s so loud.  Is there going to be more fire?”

Another drink for Mom and Dad, please.

When the trauma was over, we left the place with the kids still covering their ears and asking to be carried out. When we got in the car, my son asked — no, begged us — if he behaved all the time to never, ever bring him here for his birthday.

So much for something new.

Oh, and the biggest mystery?  They didn’t like fried rice.  Clearly, I’ve done something wrong.

Happy Winter Break, folks.  Let Day 299 Four begin.  Next stop:  Indoor bouncy castle place.  Since I’m already out of the running for Mother of the Year — why not?

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  1. Steve Lemson says:

    I dunno, I think you may have stumbled (big bar, as I recall) onto the ultimate child control strategy–“if you don’t behave NOW, we’re going back to the hibachi place.” I’m thinking you’ve got a good six months worth of mileage on that one. Bonzai!

  2. Ninja Mom says:

    I laughed out loud, a lot.

    “Don’t throw that food at me!”

  3. Loukia says:

    Oh, man – taking children to any restaurant, ever, is hard work! It’s not really enjoyable for anyone… for the most part. We all make these mistakes! Thanks for the laughs today…

    • fordeville says:

      I think the “not really enjoyable” part, in this case, applied to everyone within a 5 mile radius of the hibachi action. But at least I used my Groupon, right?

  4. Laura says:

    Kids – they’re like adults with no sense of humor. On the up side, I think you may have bought yourself a free pass out of making hot meals for the rest of the week – a stunning acheivement!

  5. Erica says:

    Lol I enjoy the hibachi experience as a whole (and I love the food)! But, your kids remind me of me with the fire!! I always conveniently go to the ladies’ room like two minutes before I know the fire is going to be lit and I stay there for about three minutes. Then I come back! ;D

  6. Anna says:

    i’m so sorry. here’s wishing all a speedy and full recovery.

  7. Tamara says:

    I think this was one of your absolute funniest posts.

    (Also, you know, my first ever hibachi experience was with you at Arirang!)

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