Sunday, August 15, 2010
Sometimes we are THAT special needs family
The scene: Sunday morning. We are en route to The Original Pancake House. We've tried to come here before, only the din has wigged Max out and we've had to give up and leave. But we are fools for pancakes, and so try again, we must.
I call the place. I tell them we have a kid with special needs, and ask if I can put our name on the waiting list now. "Sorry, no," the lady says, nicely. "We can't do that. But we can make sure you get seated really quickly once you're here." We decide to go for it.
As soon as we arrive, I jump out of the car and check in. There is a horde of pancake-hungry people waiting for tables. The hostess tells me she'll get us the next one that's free, and I say we'll wait in the car and could she call us when she's ready? She agrees.
"Oh, one more thing," I say. "He likes corner tables, if there is any way that is possible, that would be great!"
Never the shy type, I have become the world's pushiest person since having Max.
She says she'll try, without even a hint of WTF in her voice. It takes a lot of patience to be a parent of a kid with special needs, but I suspect it might take even more patience to be a hostess at a pancake place.
We hit the parking lot and entertain Max by finding Toyota Siennas (his favorite car) and letting him pat them. That's his thing: he runs around them and pats them down. Only this time, he sets off the alarm on one, and we grab the kids and slink away. Max has also turned me into an adult delinquent.
Five minutes later, we get the call from the hostess and walk in. Max wails. He screeches. The crowd gathered in the entryway stares. Literally, everyone stares. I pick him up and he flails his arms and legs, managing to whack me in the eye. I carry him to the lovely table in the lovely quiet corner. Sabrina sits down. Max makes a break for the door.
"I'll handle him, you order," Dave says, and he and Max head outside to feel up more Siennas, no doubt.
I order pancakes for the kids. "Can you please serve my son's in a skillet?" I ask. The waiter stares at me like I've just asked if they serve pancakes here. "My son likes to eat out of skillets at breakfast," I explain. It's true. If that's what it takes to get him to eat his eggs or oatmeal, we do it.
"I'll have to ask," the waiter says, and scurries off. The hostess who seated us returns, no doubt not surprised it is me again. "Sorry, the skillets are only for cooking food," she says. I realize that next time, I should BYO. I'm not sure a skillet will fit in my purse but when I get home I try and it does. So going forward, we will be THAT family who brings their own skillet to the restaurant.
Dave returns a few minutes later with a calm Max. "How did you do that?" I ask, once again amazed by Dave's ability to placate Max. "First we touched all the Siennas," Dave says. "Then I talked about his friend Caleb, and how much he loves him, just to get his mind off the restaurant." Smart man I married, eh?
And that was pretty much that. We had to keep asking the waiter repeatedly for napkins, since Max is a messy eater. Then Max needed his chocolate milk in a paper, not glass, cup. Then I needed a fresh cup of iced coffee because Sabrina decided to drop a crayon in there. But otherwise, we had ourselves a very pleasant pancake breakfast: Max, plain; Sabrina, chocolate chip; me, potato; Dave, wheat. And wow, were they good.
Have you ever been THAT family?!