Yesterday Aaron had a dentist appointment, so as usual I told him that we would eat lunch out somewhere – his choice. This of course makes Aaron very happy. He climbed in the car and settled in for the ride to Chili’s, with our music cranked up but with Aaron still trying to talk over the sound of Billy Joel. Nothing deters Aaron from talking. Trust me.
It’s fun to just sit with Aaron in a restaurant and let him guide the conversation. Control might be a better word. As soon as we were led to our table, the talking began and continued non-stop for the entire meal. Only when chewing his huge burger was Aaron quiet. I also knew from the moment that our server, Christy, came to the table that she got Aaron. She was relaxed with him, smiling and interacting with him, which showed me how much she liked and enjoyed him. She had none of the nervous glances and stony looks that so many others do when they meet Aaron. This also put me at ease.
Christy asked right away if we wanted an appetizer. Aaron perked up and asked, “What’s an appetizer?” Christy and I tried to explain appetizers to Aaron, but all he cared about was revealed in his next question: “Does it have bread?” You know how Aaron loves bread. Anyone who buys 36 rolls at Wal-Mart does indeed love bread. Christy went on to get our water while I continued to answer appetizer questions and assure Aaron that we did not need an appetizer, and that no, there was no bread appetizer.
Next, Aaron wanted to know what a margarita was as he studied the poster on the wall. No, Aaron, you cannot have a margarita, either. Now please look at the menu at something that you CAN have………..and of course, he ordered the biggest bacon burger that he could find……….after looking at all the menu pictures and having many questions about the food that he saw. He always comes back to burgers………with bacon, surely.
His eyes are always moving, observing every detail around him. He liked the tile table where we sat, bright and unusual. “Mom, this design looks like a snowflake……….and this one looks like leafs…….with snowflakes.” Which led him to remember pepper. “Mom, remember when I looked at pepper in the microscope? It’s all leafs! Why would we eat leafs?”
He was bothered by the water left on the table from where it was cleaned before we arrived, so he began swiping the table with his hands. He also does this for crumbs, but I stopped him before we had even more water on the table from spilled drinks. Then he realized that he didn’t have his obligatory toothpick by his side that he must always have by his side when he eats. He got up to go get a toothpick that he had seen at the welcome desk near the front door, but I stopped him quickly. His eyes don’t miss anything! Christy was kind enough to bring Aaron a toothpick on a little paper towel………..which he promptly dropped and lost. Somehow he managed to finish his meal minus the toothpick.
He wanted to clap, so I gave him repeated reminders that clapping was not to be done in the restaurant. He still got a few in anyway, despite my stern looks. And talk, talk, talk! We talked about getting him new shoes after the dentist, when we went to Wal-Mart. Whereupon he turned in the booth and stuck his foot out to show me the semi-hole in his tennis shoes…………and poked his finger in the hole as he said, “See, Mom, you can actually feel the inside of the shoe!” Turn around, Aaron, and quit jabbing your finger in your shoe!
He held up the onion slice that was on his huge bacon hamburger. “Do you call these purple onions?” He knows the answer but will always ask anyway, so I answer the way that I always answer………..that these are not purple onions but are called red onions………which leads to a discussion of red vs. purple, and is he color blind like Granddaddy?
He remembers that he read a long time last night before bed and is now feeling tired. “Mom, guess what time I got up? I got up at 7:57!” He paused for a second and then continued, “I mean, not 7:57. It was 7:17!” When did you go to bed, Aaron? “I turned my light off at 11:23!” The precise world of Aaron. I would expect no less.
We also know all about the literal world of Aaron, which he hilariously demonstrated in this conversation: “Mom, Paradigm has a janitor now. I didn’t know they hired a janitor!” And I teasingly replied, “Well, it’s because of all you messy people.” With a straight face, Aaron said, “No, she doesn’t clean people. She cleans tables and floors.” He did not understand my laughter, which made it even funnier.
More talking, all the while eating……….or should I say cramming………..his huge bacon burger into his mouth. Finally, there lay on his plate the burger, the onions, the tomato, the lettuce, and the bacon. He continued to eat the bun smeared with ketchup and mayo, and then finished off each of the other items one by one. He saved the best til last……..the bacon………..and proceeded to cut one of the pieces in half. I wondered why, and then he handed me one of the halves. “Here Mom. You can have half of my bacon.” Oh, how sweet. But I declined, begging fullness on my part, and so he happily shoved both halves in his mouth and finished off his meal.
We drove through the car wash, where every aspect of every feature of the car wash was expounded by Aaron……….even up to bedtime last night…………every aspect, believe me. The dentist visit was next, where it was discovered that Aaron has a crack in his tooth. We remember when it happened not long ago at supper, where he was vigorously eating steak. Now we are hearing all about cracks in teeth, crowns on teeth, and the prospect of his next dental visit soon to come. Gary and I are just seeing dollar signs. Wal-Mart was the usual going here and going there and hearing all his observations about EVERYTHING…………do you know how much there is to talk about at Wal-Mart??!! We left with his favorite non-flavor-bursting sour cream and onion Pringles………….Cheez-Its because we ran out because he ate them all………..and a box of croissants……….of course.
Driving home by the recently plowed farmer’s fields, he wondered why part of a field was bare. “Mom, why is there bald grass there?” Bald grass? “Yeah, there’s nothing in that field. It’s bald grass!” As always, I’m following Aaron and enjoying his language…………but agreeing with what he had said previously at Chili’s.
“Mom, I clapped at Paradigm one day and the janitor told me that I need to take a chill pill. Why did I need to have that?”
Oh Aaron, if only there was such a thing as a chill pill! There are times that if you didn’t take one………….I would!!!