What do you do when your kid is declared peanut-allergy-free after over four years of dietary limitations? You go out for Thai food with friends, baybee!
The poor child had been primed for tonight in a most unconventional way. After years of only being allowed approved snacks at school, it just so happened that his first day as a “free man” brought a snacktime project of making edible schoolbuses. Out of… twinkies. With Rolos for wheels. And tootsie rolls for… okay, I STOPPED LISTENING at that point because HELLO, you people not only fed my kid TWINKIES, you then felt the need to allow him to enrich them with MORE CANDY? As stupefied as contemplating this willful administration of sugar rendered me, I then realized that the teachers had an ENTIRE ROOM full of kindergarteners hopped up on power twinkies. At that point I blacked out from the terror.
Anyway, his teacher said that she thought “perhaps all the exciting new food” had upset his stomach, whereas I thought that “perhaps all the massive quantities of sugar and preservatives” had merely shocked his system.
The logical follow-on activity was to take my picky, sugar-pickled child out for strange (to him, anyway) ethnic food!
As we waited at the restaurant for our friends to arrive, I wondered if I’d made a mistake. Heck, 9 times out of 10, Monkey doesn’t eat his FAVORITE foods at HOME. Why, exactly, was I so excited to take him out for dinner?
“Hey Monkey!” Boing bounced into view and tackle-hugged him mid-declaration. “You’s can eat anything’s you want now! Let’s eat stuff!” Well, Boing has a way with words. Her mom and I tried to make our selections from the menu while the children played an elaborate game with some small plastic dogs Boing had brought along.
Friend: Do we need two pad thai, do you think?
Me: I don’t think so… let’s pick the other stuff and see how much we have.
Friend: Okay, good idea.
Boing: *in falsetto, brandishing a dog* Ohhhh, let’s get MARRIED!
Monkey: *also in falsetto, crashing his dog into hers* Okay!
Boing: Now we lick each other! And now we’re married! *the children continue crashing the dogs all over the table in their newly wedded bliss* Time to have some lemonade!
Chickadee: *flying a stuffed animal across the table at the younger children* OH NO! Right after they got married they were EATEN by a giant SQUIRREL!
*scuffling and giggling ensues*
Me: Wow, that’s just how my wedding was.
Friend: I’m sorry I missed it.
The waitress came by, and we had to ask for more time to decide. Then we took it into our heads to actually talk to the children about the food choices, which was just foolish.
Me: Monkey, would you eat some chicken, do you think?
Monkey: I don’t want to eat here.
Me: That’s nice. Chickadee?
Chickadee: I’ll eat chicken. And I want some soup. Can I have soup?
Me: Sure, let’s pick one.
Friend: Boing, do you want noodles?
Boing: Yes, I want them now. Where are they?
Friend: We’re going to order some.
Boing: I’m hungry.
Monkey: I’m not.
Chickadee: I want this soup here. But it has squid. I don’t like squid.
Me: Hey, I have an idea. Let’s pick one withOUT squid.
Monkey: Boing! Now it’s time for them to eat their food! The doggies need some pizza.
Chickadee: No, the squirrel ate all the pizza.
Boing: That’s okay, the doggies can just eat the BOX!
*hysterical laughter ensues amongst the children, and we seize the opportunity to finalize our meal choices while they’re not listening*
After an extended period of time during which the small plastic dogs ate all of our dishes and napkins, got married again, and went to the beach where they took baths in salad dressing (hey, I don’t invent the scenarios, I just have to listen to them), dishes started arriving in serial fashion. With each arrival, Monkey announced that he didn’t want any.
He didn’t want any of the thai rolls (he ate most of one). He didn’t want any of the noodles out of the soup (he ate a plateful). He didn’t want any of the tempura (he ate all the green veggies and a few chicken pieces). He didn’t want any pad thai (by that time he may have been full, but I made him taste it anyway). I’m sure he didn’t want any of the delicious shrimp somethingorother we ordered, but that was too good to waste on the kids, anyway.
[After several narrow misses between Monkey’s plastic dog flailing and his water glass, I pointed out that I would be quite upset if his water ended up spilled. Five minutes later, I knocked over my own glass. The children are STILL LAUGHING.]
Meanwhile, Boing and Chickadee sucked down everything they could get their hands on. Well, except that Chickadee politely refused the shrimp I offered her. She then confided to my friend that she prefers scallops. (Seven going on thirty-seven….) I think it’s safe to say that a grand and gluttonous time was had by all.
On the way out, there was a dish of wrapped hard candies. We allowed the kids to each make a selection, which they then unwrapped and popped into their mouths as we left the restaurant. Chickadee chose a starlight mint, and Monkey a cinnamon ball.
Me: Well buddy, what do you think of Thai food? Was it yummy?
Monkey: This candy is delicious. It’s making my tongue a little spicy, but it’s no big deal.
I’m so pleased it was such a watershed event for him.