I love going out to eat you guys. I don't care where it is and I certainly don't need fancy. Cheap is best given our budget, of course. And often Oma and Opa will treat us, which is awesome. Usually Punkin is excited to be in a restaurant; he greets everyone ("Hi guys!") and inspects every sugar packet on the table. He could sometimes exercise a little more restraint during those inspections, but he means well. He's chipper and he listens to me.
If it's a place with a paper kid's menu, it is destroyed before I can confirm the prescence of "dot dogs" or "burders" and fries. Crayons are tossed aside like a hot potato. Who uses those things, anyway? But again, he's sitting and he's happy. I usually carry playdoh with me as well, which might entertain him for a few minutes. And if things get really bad, I have TV on my cell phone.
But, and you knew this was coming, my little peach of a Punkin has been taken over by crabby fairies. At first it started almost as soon as we stepped through the door of the apartment after school. That lasted several weeks, and made occupational therapy rather interesting, but it has since calmed down considerably until any time after 5pm. That is the magical time of day when It. Hits. The. Fan.
He's worked so hard all day on keeping himself together and then BAM! He just can't do it anymore. Intense hyperactivity turns quickly to aggression. Pretty soon we're sitting at a booth, I tell him to use his fork or stop kicking his feet and the next thing you know I'm being smacked across the face and my plate is flying onto the floor. Fwap! No more club sandwich. (He REALLY hated picking up that broccoli, but he did it.) The worst part? All he wants is to leave. And what's my only option after my turkey, ham, and bacon are splayed on the floor of Applebees and my son has to be restrained? To leave.
So we climb in the car, where he seems quite pleased with himself overall, and I yell a little. Because he doesn't "get it." And then he GETS IT. Momma's mad. He cries, he sits in time out at home, he does it again next time. Lather, rinse, repeat. Every time he seems to understand just a little bit more and a little bit sooner that he screwed up. Baby steps. Half baby steps.
I am determined to leave the house, though. I will take him out to eat with me. How else will he learn? And if we stay home, we'll only isolate ourselves. So it's one sugar packet, one ham slice, one kid's menu at a time.