It is exhilarating nowadays to actually be able to dine out as a family. When MJ was between 3-7 1/2 years old it was near impossible to do. I remember one specific day that we decided to give it a try. We went to “Johnny Carino’s” early one evening right after we picked the kids up from school. We knew the restaurant would not be crowded and we already knew what we would order. When we picked him up he seemed calm and happy. We walked into the restaurant and sat down. I was very nervous but tried my best to hide it. For the first 7 minutes everything was great. We sat, ordered, and got our drinks right away. However after 7 minutes MJ:
went underneath the table
began running back and forth down the aisle
was yelling loudly
and was banging on the table.
Oh, the Horror lol (I can laugh about it now)!
I was so happy that there weren’t many people in there at the time. My husband called our waiter and he immediately asked for the check and doggie bags. The idea of not being able to “get out” was very difficult for us. You feel trapped, isolated, and frustrated. None of the other people we knew had this issue…It was just US. While everyone was able to go out with their families, WE WEREN’T. The drive-thru was our best friend! Do you know how guilty we felt taking only Morgan places when MJ was in school? We didn’t want her to miss out on some experiences because of MJ but at the same time we felt guilty doing it. Due to the babysitting situation I previously wrote about (April 4th post), many times my husband and I would just go out separately in order to get a break. We both hated that but what other choice did we have. My husband never stopped trying to take MJ out. One day he took MJ to KFC. He sent me a pic of my son sitting down nicely, enjoying his meal, and calm. I was so excited! He continued to do “mini restaurant visits” like that with MJ more often. It was so amazing when we all were able to go to lunch at Cracker Barrel. Even now at 10 years old, going out is not without incident. We just plan before we go and we make sure he has his Nabi tablet, portable DVD player, or at the very least, a charged iPhone. MJ still has a limit of about 45-60 minutes at a restaurant but at least we are able to go out as a family now on occasion…It’s one of those things that I appreciate doing so much now. Now if I could just teach him to not try to lick the salt and pepper shakers, and not burp so loudly, this world will be a better place! 🙂
I used to use something like this to help MJ choose what he wanted when he was not as verbal.
Photo courtesy of Pinterest.