One day about 6 years ago I was on my way to pick up my sister from the airport right after speech therapy in South Riding. This was a departure our usual of leaving speech to do drive through at McDonald’s. Speech was 2 hours long and 1 hour away and the kids were 3,3, and 4 back then so nuggets it was! (in my defense they go to McDonald’s maybe once every two weeks now at most).
Back to picking up my sister. So I packed sandwiches and while at a light started to hand out the sandwiches to the hungry but happy kids. Kids are eating and I am thrilled to see my sister when we drive past the McDonald’s and things change. Birdly loses it! It starts screaming and crying and is not consolable. I figure he might want McDonald’s but he is non-verbal so no idea. We drive past the McDonald’s a second time with my sister in the truck and again he starts to cry.
Bird had it in his mind that Monday night must be McDonald’s night and that the sandwich was just a snack. That was the last time I really felt comfortable with being predictable. I would not allow this child to dictate where we were going to eat and with the anger and hysteria he threw I knew he would only get bigger and stronger. It took a couple more Monday’s for him to understand that we were not going to get McDonald’s but he did.
Flash forward to tonight. I had a doctors appt at 3:45 and was not actually home to greet my kids as always and then had to wait for my RX (I have strep throat!). So by the time I got home I had to lay down and catch my breath and unlike 8 out of 10 nights where a beautiful 3-4 course meal is prepared earlier that day I had no motivation and no ideas.
I told the kids to jump in the car and we would find something to eat. They happily listened they were hungry. We drove over to a Salvadorean place in Fairfax we had never gone to before that had a few locals and nobody who spoke English (Jen to the rescue she translated over the phone to our waitress as I needed to order something not on the menu).
The ate papusas and tried spicy cabbage and watched a Tele Novella (Spanish Soap Opera) as if we were at the local McDonald’s.
True pride filled me while our waitress a really lovely woman enjoyed looking at my well behaved kids.
Nobody thought WOW I bet that one has autism! Because he flowed like water just like the rest of us (except the using the phone to translate part…heheheheh).
So my unsolicited advice! Get your kids out into public. Get them to try new things once a week but never the same day and not in a particular pattern.
It has given me such a change in life! More on our AWFUL Food Program later. NO he did not want to eat papusas, sushi or bulgogi (Korean BBQ his favorite) when he was 3.