Yesterday, Thursday, was mall day for Aaron’s day group. I always give him a little extra money on Thursdays so that he can get himself something for lunch. And I always give Aaron my lunch tutorial on the way to meet his group.
“Now Aaron, for lunch be sure that you choose something that’s good for you.” By that I mean something that’s not composed of ice cream, hot fudge, chocolate chips, and whipped cream. In other words, Dairy Queen should not be his lunch destination, as it so often has been in the past.
He assures me, with some exasperation, that he knows this and that he promises to get a “good lunch.” Still, I’m never sure that our definitions of “good” are anywhere near similar. This is because Aaron wants what tastes good, whereas I want what is relatively good FOR him.
Aaron did his usual loud, grand entrance into the house when he returned from his day at the mall. He hardly had time to blink when he rushed in the door before I hear him loudly say, “Mom?” It didn’t take him long to find me and then he instantly began to tell me about his day – beginning, of course, with food and what he had for lunch.
“Mom! We went to the mall and I had pizza for lunch!” He said this rather breathlessly, as if he was telling me that he had gone to Rome for lunch. He wanted to know if this was a good lunch and he hoped that I would be pleased, so I let him know that this was a good choice. At least when compared to the Triple Death By Chocolate ice cream creation he sometimes consumes, pizza is a decent substitute.
He breathlessly continued, “And Mom! I noticed something! Those men were Italian!”
Really, Aaron? How did you know that they were Italian?
He answered, “Because they didn’t talk in the American way!”
He happily told me that one of the men behind the counter pointed to the various pizza choices and said, “Pizza, pizza, pizza!” ……………and not in the American way! And Aaron told the Italian man that he was trying to decide what FLAVOR he wanted!
As Aaron told me that he liked the flavor of pizza he chose, he said, “Look what I brought with me.” Out of his pocket he pulled a knife, fork, and spoon that he had hidden in his pocket before he left the house. I told him that he did not need silverware from home when he goes out to eat.
“But Mom, I wanted it because it’s metal!” Oh, Aaron………….who always must have multiple pieces of silverware for every meal……..now wants metal silverware as opposed to plastic. And I know that even though I remind him that he doesn’t need silverware at all with pizza, he will continue to have silverware around him with his pizza because he must. He just MUST have silverware around him when he eats. I also make a mental note that frisking him before he leaves the house would always be best.
Aaron continued on with reciting his lunch adventure by telling me about the lady at the oriental restaurant in the food court. “Mom, that lady had meat on a toothpick. She asked me if I wanted one and you know what I said?” I told Aaron that I did not know what he said, knowing that he was about to tell me……….and he did. “I said ‘Ewwww!’ ”
I told Aaron that he should never respond to anyone who offers him food by saying “Ewwww!” He answered, “But Mom, it was fish! Do you want fish in Chinese?!” I have no idea what fish in Chinese means, but obviously it is not in Aaron’s food palate. Regardless, I confirmed to him that the nice response would have been to say, “No thank you.” And he reaffirmed, “I thought it was just better to say ‘Ewwww!’ ” Another mental note that we need some manners updating.
Later, as Gary and I were almost finished with our nice little dinner together, Aaron came downstairs and sat in the family room…………where I noticed that he looked a little odd and was swallowing in a strange way. Then, as Aaron told Cody today……….”Something went wrong!” I urged Aaron to hurry into the bathroom because I suspected that something was amiss in his digestive process……….which was correct. He didn’t quite make it all the way to the toilet before that wonderful “pizza, pizza, pizza!” came right up. This was not quite the ending to Aaron’s day or to our dinner that we would have chosen. Indeed, something went wrong…….very wrong.
Poor Aaron, who lost all of that special flavor of pizza that he had chosen from that Italian man. Poor Gary, who would not let me lift my one good arm at all and who patiently cleaned it all up himself.
Perhaps Aaron should have chosen to eat the fish that was in Chinese. I’m not sure that he will ever choose that flavor of pizza again from that Italian man.
Today it’s popcorn at the theater…………the largest popcorn possible……..with the most butter that they will squirt on the popcorn. No amount of lecturing on my part or of something going wrong on Aaron’s part will deter him from his large buttered popcorn.
Gary and I are taking Aaron out tonight to do a little shopping, and MAYBE to eat out. We’ll see about that eating out part. I know that I should frisk him before we leave…….to check for metal silverware in his pockets.
And brush him up on his manners as we drive.
And remind him of good food choices.
And stick some barf bags in the van……….and in my purse.
So much can go wrong!
But somehow with Aaron, it all turns out right in the long run.