Last night, we went out to dinner. At a restaurant. With David.
It has been literally months since we tried to take David to a restaurant.
Sometimes, he does alright, but much of the time, it is frustrating for us and for him.
David does not really like to eat, so for him there is no attraction in waiting for the food to arrive.
And there are distractions—oh so many distractions.
A few months ago, we tried to meet my parents for breakfast one weekend morning. We picked a restaurant that we knew would be pretty noisy, so David would not be too disruptive to the other diners, and that had the capacity to deliver a plate full of crispy "de-witch-ous" bacon nearly simultaneously to David's rear end settling into the chair.
We could not even get David to go into the restaurant. He wanted, instead, to sit on the bench in the waiting area and no amount of coaxing could convince him to walk (willingly) to the table.
Maybe, it was too noisy. Maybe David was too tired. Maybe we should have called ahead and had the bacon waiting for us so that we could lead him like a rabbit with a carrot into the restaurant.
As we walked back out to the car, the problem became apparent. Located just across the street from the restaurant was a car wash, the exit perfectly positioned so that the cars in the final wash were visible from the bench of the waiting area, but would not have been visible from any of the tables.
After a quick huddle, we decided not to be deterred. We would go to a local grocery store and see if David would tolerate eating in their little cafe and if not, we would simply buy the ingredients, take them back to my parents' house and cook breakfast for ourselves.
Imagine my surprise as we pulled into the store parking lot.
There it was. In full view. Another carwash. And, my best attempt at shielding, blocking, distracting and finally hustling David into the store did not work. David spied the sign almost immediately.
I am happy to report that all was not lost, however. The restaurant had a full wall of windows, so David was willing to sit, and he quickly lost interest because the wash happened to be situated in such a way that even David decided looking at the brick wall was not all that thrilling.
So, I suppose you could call that experience a semi-success, but I hope (400 words in and I will try finally to make a point) that you can see sometimes it just seems like trouble. Too much trouble.
David, according to all printed reports, had a successful visit to a Mexican restaurant on the last day of his teacher training last week so we decided to take advantage of it and make a return visit to the restaurant while David still remembered having a good experience there.
This particular restaurant is part of a local chain. We drove past four restaurants—5 miles, 9 miles, 11 and 12 miles away from our house. Yes, we drove more than twenty miles each way or an hour total in the car so that we could visit not just ANY Romeo's Mexican Food and Pizza, but the VERY SAME Romeo's Mexican Food and Pizza that David had visited previously because it is, after all, "nacho typical restaurant."
Well, on a scale of one to ten with one being horrendous and ten being a relaxing meal, I would have to rate the experience a six which is pretty good. David did not do anything that would have disturbed those eating around us, but we did have to make a few trips to the entrance to watch the doors open and close.
Oh, and David marched off toward the kitchen in search of his basket of fries when the waitress brought everyone else's food to the table except David's. Why do they do that?
For those of you paying attention you can probably guess. But, for the rest of you I will make like Aesop and spell it out for you.
The moral of the story is—if you order a margarita in an attempt to calm your nerves, don't get it blended because you absolutely cannot drink it fast enough to get the calming effect before brain freeze sets in.