We decided to go out to eat on Saturday while Andrea was down from McPherson for the night. This is really no big deal…………..except that we took Aaron with us, which turns everything routine into a big deal. We decided to go to Longhorn Steakhouse. It’s still fairly new and none of us had been there before. Aaron was happy with this choice – a new restaurant to experiment on! He loves trying new restaurants, especially when they somehow interest him. Longhorn is a fascinating name, so Aaron was intrigued. He’s also been intrigued over the years with Hooters, having seen signs on the highway and then heard our adamant “NO!” when he’s asked if we could take him to Hooters…………….or Hoots, as he sometimes calls it. Longhorn is a safe choice and so off we went.
Anytime we go somewhere with Aaron and park the van, we tell him right away to wait on us. This is because Aaron will barge ahead of us and walk in doors first………….and by the time we catch up, there’s no telling what all he will have said or done. Of course, he was immediately off at a fast clip – well, fast for Aaron – and we were, as usual, telling him to slow down and wait for us, etc., etc. We did all manage to walk in together, but as if pulled by a magnet Aaron zipped in a split second to the little cup that held the toothpicks – barging past the welcome station to the cashier desk to claim his toothpicks. So of course the first words out of our mouth upon entering Longhorn, was Gary saying, “Aaron!” and Andrea saying, “Aaron!” and me saying, “Aaron!” A trio of Aaron’s it was. Quite lovely and a great way, I must say, to start our evening. Aaron grabbed a handful of toothpicks……….because EVERY time he eats he must have several toothpicks………….until Gary told him he must get only one toothpick. They were covered in plastic, so he put all back but the one that he was allowed to keep…………and which he didn’t even end up using. Aaron doesn’t care if he actually uses the toothpick – he just MUST have toothpicks with every meal.
We were led to our booth, and Aaron slid in right beside me, saying, “Mom, I want to sit beside you because I love you!” Wow! That was unexpected and very sweet, made even more so when he laid his head on my shoulder. I reminded him, though, that we were here to eat and that he needed to sit up. His exuberance over eating was making him very affectionate with me but now was not the time for that. Our server came and thankfully, she was one who clicked with Aaron and liked him. We all relaxed, and began to order our drinks. Of course Aaron said, “Can I have beer?” He thinks this is always a very funny thing to say and tonight was no exception. We said no to that idea just like the Hooters idea, and Aaron laughed. Of course, this is all being said in Aaron’s usual loud way.
When we eat out and Aaron orders food, he usually asks the server for his selections – such as, “Can I have a Super Duper Double Bacon Cheeseburger?” Or, “Can I have onion rings?” I tell him all the time that he doesn’t have to ask the server what he can have, but to just order. I assumed that on this night he would want his usual water, but when I asked him he said no………..and then proceeded to hunch over the drink selections on the menu, while the patient server and the not-as-patient parents waited……….and waited………..and waited. I fully expected to hear the Jeopardy song begin playing, waiting for Aaron to order his drink in the form of a question…………da da da da da da da, da da da da da……………………and then he said, “Can I just have water?” All that time and you still just want water? Sigh.
Aaron decided that he was tired of hamburgers – huge shock! – and that he wanted, of all things, soup. Soup? Are you sure, Aaron? Yes, he wanted soup……….and a salad. He ended up ordering Loaded Baked Potato Soup……….which he liked…………and a steak salad, which he liked but not all that much because it didn’t have Ranch dressing on it, he told me later. When the soup came, Aaron examined it closely, wanting to know what was in it. He pointed down at the bowl and asked, “What are those dark spots?” Dark spots? Where? We finally determined that he was pointing to the bacon and upon hearing this piece of good news, he dug in and ate happily.
He loved the bread and butter, and was very happy indeed when the server refilled the basket. He brushed crumbs off the table over and over again, despite our telling him over and over again that this was unnecessary. It’s obviously necessary to Aaron. He dug into his salad then, and slurped on his water, and leaned on my arm no matter how far away I tried to scoot – making it hard for me to eat – so I reminded him to move over and he would for a minute until soon I found him leaning on me again………..intent on his eating and unaware of his leaning. But he was aware that the people across from us were drinking something fascinating to him and before we could stop him, he pointed to them and said, “Look! Those people are drinking wine!” Whereupon you could hear that trio again, all of saying “Aaron!” and hoping that those people drinking the wine or whatever didn’t notice Aaron or our trio.
He decided that he had to go to the bathroom and since he had already registered where it was, off he plodded…………with us wondering what would happen between here and there………..and IN there. When he returned, the server brought some take-home boxes as Aaron finished up his salad. She then began removing plates, and Aaron scooted his plate toward her and said, “Here. I’ve had enough of this.”
Well, Aaron, that didn’t sound quite nice. But the server laughed and we laughed and Aaron didn’t think anything at all was funny. He just doesn’t get us sometimes, you know?
By then it was time to follow Aaron out the door and go home, while he rather loudly said, “I was just very curious about what those dark spots were in that soup!”
Yep, we about had enough of this.