Monday, June 11, 2012

Dinner for Two

It only took 2 years but my husband and I went out Saturday for dinner....yes...a real, sit down meal, in a grown up restaurant and we were actually able to enjoy our food without rushing or trying to entertain little people!! Of course, it wasn't that easy to get out of the house with the sitters being late, the kids begging and pleading with us to stay home but we managed to take some time to be together.

It all came about on Monday when my husband asked if I'd like to go out to dinner with him on Saturday night. Of course I would but how? His parents said they would watch the kids for us. There have been health issues with them over the last few years so it was a real treat that THEY volunteered.

Saturday night I came down the stairs in a dress. Yes.  I wore a dress, which then set off the begging and pleading and tons of questions from my daughter.   I'm usually in shorts and a t-shirt.  Why are you dressed up? Why do you have to go? Why are you leaving us? (That one got to me considering she even had tears in her eyes.) Then because he saw his sister upset, my son started frantically running around the house getting dressed. "Go with mommy." "Go with MOMMMMY!!!"  "Dad, stay here."  We told him not this time and then I got the death grip;  clinging to me forever and ever so tight.

Now, a lesson from the past, be home before the kids are getting ready for bed.  Our bedtime routine is sacred and we have learned not to mess with it.  With that being said, our dinner reservation was for 5:30pm which made our reservation seem like a late lunch but whatever.  It is now 5:15 and the kids are being very dramatic like we are leaving them and never coming back and the sitters aren't here yet.  You got it.  I'm standing at the front door and they aren't at the house yet. Then it was 5:20 and I called their phone with no answer.  5:25 my husband called and someone picked up and said they were almost here.  They pulled up at 5:35.  Missed our reservation but the restaurant said be here as soon as you can.  We pealed the kids off of me and practically ran out to the car. 

Ah, peace at last.  During our meal we were trying to remember the last time we actually had a date and it was 2 years ago that we were out together.  The food was incredible!  Like, melt in your mouth incredible.  Probably because it wasn't anywhere close to being a fast-food type of restaurant.  Or, maybe because I could actually take my time and taste it? 

We love to people watch.  I saw an older couple at a table, maybe in their mid 80's, and he was on his cell phone practically the entire meal.  Shame on him.  Then there was a set of grandparents, their daughter and husband and their daughter who maybe was 15.  Someone made a comment to the waitress about how she resembled Julia Roberts and the girl asked who that was.  Thought it was funny when the grandmother then said, you know, Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman?  The girl shrugged her shoulders then her mother said, Mom, that movie is inappropriate for her!  We chuckled. 

Anyway with all this excitement of getting out of the house for dinner, the people watching, the adult conversation we were back home in 1 1/2 hours.  That's how long it took for us to re-energize our parent batteries then we started missing the kids. 

I'd like to go out to dinner with my husband again, maybe this time it will be less than 2 years from now. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Fortunate Conversation

A couple of nights ago, I had a conversation with a boy who was my son's age while he was waiting for his sister to finish up her softball game, along with my daughter.  I was talking with his mother when he came over to her and sat on her lap.  Why is this a big deal?  I often wonder how a conversation would go with my own son.  He is verbal and we are working on his circles of communication but this little conversation has made an impact on me.

'Charlie' came over to his mother and hopped on her lap.  He is the same age, height and looks like the same weight as my son.  He then started playing with her hair.  My son plays with my hair.  He wouldn't sit still on her lap.  My son hardly ever sits still.  He started rocking back and forth and being impatient.  Same with my son.  Then I started asking 'Charlie' some questions about school and boy was he was ready to talk.  We talked about his favorite subject...gym class.  Then he went on to tell me all about the fun games they play in gym with one game going into lots of detail.  I could tell it was his absolute favorite.  I'm pretty sure my son dislikes gym class, but again, that is a guess.  He usually gets mad at his teachers when it is time for gym.  Then 'Charlie' and I talked about what he didn't like to do in school...read.  He really disliked reading. Then 'Charlie' and his mom talked a little bit more about his reading teacher.  We've been trying, desperately, to get my son to read, memorize sight words, you name it.  Then I asked what he liked to do outside of school.  'Charlie' really enjoyed being in Boy Scouts.  He then went on and on, telling me all about it.  He also liked to play baseball.  He also told me all about his friends.  My son goes to multiple therapies.  He is not involved in any sports, or groups, and as far as I know, he doesn't have any friends.

After the softball game was over, I thanked his mom for letting me speak with him.  She gave me a puzzled look.  I then told her that my son had autism and I never had a conversation like that with him.  She just smiled and said nothing.  Her response was perfect.  I felt very fortunate to have this little conversation with this boy and hoping that one day, I will have a similar conversation with my own son.

This is what we have to keep doing.