On Thursday, Aaron had his Epilepsy doctor appointment. I was very relieved to be called back rather quickly from the waiting room. Aaron was way too fascinated by the dad who was sitting there, arms covered in tattoos. “Mom, look at his tattoos!” Aaron whispered………except Aaron doesn’t really whisper………..it’s more of what we would call a normal voice but to him is quieter than his usual loud voice. Then I whispered for him to hush and he wanted to know why and I was hoping this man didn’t hear or at least that he was kind and understanding. It was very nice to escape that situation! Aaron’s seizures and his medicine levels are stable, so there wasn’t much new there. However, we love time with the nurse practitioner, Keith Trevolt. He is a lay pastor as well as a very knowledgeable health care provider, and our visits with him are always uplifting, informative, and fun. He seems to have all the time in the world to listen to Aaron, and as Aaron got wound up, Keith had lots to listen to……….mostly about (drum roll)………..Battleship!!!! Aaron would have replayed every scene and every conversation and every alien move had I not finally intervened. I rescued Keith, and Aaron and I went on our way to the next destination……….the real reason Aaron wanted to come, which was lunch, of course.
I had suggested that we eat at Carlos O’Kelly’s. Aaron was happy about this choice because it’s a place he has been to rarely, if ever. We were thankfully ushered immediately to a booth and so began this serious eating-out process. I told Aaron to first decide on his drink……….and of course, he immediately spotted the margarita selection on the back of the menu. “Mom, is that a beer?” His fascination with beer continues, of course, so I had to try to quickly explain the difference and then urge him to confirm his choice – iced tea, thankfully.
Aaron and menus have become a very time-consuming combination. He wants to look at and read every item. I tried to suggest various food choices and his response, invariably, is to say, “Let me see it. What’s in it?” He wants to see a picture and get a full description of each choice, which takes forever, so I finally strongly suggested an enchilada……….and then we had to face the selection of sides………..and determine what the soup of the day was………..and let him ponder that while the waitress had her pen poised………and Aaron had more questions……….and needed a picture…………JUST ORDER, AARON!!!!!
His Tortilla Soup arrived in a very tiny bowl, with a glob of sour cream on top. As soon as Aaron methodically cleaned the sour cream swipe on the side of the bowl, he proceeded to spill much more of the soup down the sides of same bowl as he tried to scoop soup out of a much-too-small bowl. He managed to eat most of the soup, completely soaking the cute little napkin under the soup but thankfully not getting too much of the soup on the table or his clothes. He’s a little shaky and so soup can be difficult, but I ignore the mess so he won’t feel badly about it.
His enchilada had been delivered and he dug into that next, very carefully smoothing out that dollop of sour cream on top so as to cover the entire enchilada. This took some time as he smoothed and smoothed again that sour cream, as if he was painting the top of his enchilada. But then his fork was covered in sour cream and this was a problem………..because Aaron will not put the fork in his mouth to clean it. No, no, no…….Aaron will only clean his utensils with a napkin. So he took a napkin and wiped his fork off in it, watching me to see if I objected. I was thankful that the waitress had brought extra napkins earlier. How did she know? Next Aaron carefully removed the jalapenos and put them on his little soup plate.
Now it was time to seriously eat. He observed his plate and then began to eat the garnish first. Aaron eats one item at a time, and he considered the little pile of onions and spices to be an item to eat……….not an item to put onto his enchilada. The enchilada was all smooth with his sour cream and was not to be further disturbed. After finishing the garnish, he tackled the rice. His waitress kindly offered to get him a spoon and as she walked away, Aaron asked, “Can I have a knife?” Because with every meal, even if it’s cereal, Aaron must have multiple spoons and at least one knife and one fork. She didn’t hear him and somehow he survived without a knife for this meal.
My meal didn’t take long to eat, so I spent the majority of my time sipping my Pepsi and watching Aaron and of course, listening to Aaron. I listened to Aaron clap his very loud clap, telling him to stop, and then listening as he tried to quietly slip in a clap here and there………or clap under the table. I listened to Aaron as he talked about everything around him. “Mom! Look!” He was pointing behind us, to the bar. “Look at those levers. They turn them and beer comes out!”
I asked him if his food was spicy. He thought for a second and then said, “Well, half of it was and half of it wasn’t.” There he goes with that half business again! He saw the waitress bring me a take-out box for the remainder of my lunch, so he asked me if we could take the chips home. As the next waitress passed our table………..not our waitress……..Aaron saw her and said, “HEY!!” She stopped and thankfully she smiled and thankfully she understood and thankfully she brought Aaron a nice bag in which he could thankfully take home those chips.
Finally, four napkins and two spoons and one fork and a bag of chips later, we were ready to leave. We made a quick run into Target, where Aaron asked if he could go find some Mike and Ikes……….and I reluctantly agreed. He promised to come back quickly and meet me where I was checking out some sale items. He took longer than I thought he should and of course, I should not have been surprised to look up and see Aaron lumbering toward me with this:
He was very happy to have found this wonderful pillow. As I placed the pillow in the cart, he then pulled 3 boxes of Mike and Ikes out of his pockets. Thank you, security guys, for not questioning my son about why he was stuffing Mike and Ikes into his pockets. Good grief, Aaron!
It was nice to arrive home, in more ways than one, and to have Aaron lay down for a nap. My brain needed a break, not to mention my nerves.
And I was thankful for the either deaf or patient tattooed dad; our kind nurse practitioner; pleasant, understanding waitresses; and either blind or unobservant security personnel.
It’s all part of a day with Aaron.