Up until last year, going out to eat with Joey consisted of us having to feed Joey at home before we left and then “bribing” him with his iPad to keep him behaved long enough for us to eat our meal. During this time, he’s had a totally awesome personality growth spurt resulting in some new milestones. As a parent of a child with ANY special needs, sometimes, the smallest milestone to one parent, might mean the world to another. I had tried ordering his favorite meal, mashed potatoes (covered in ketchup) at various restaurants with no success up until then.
Finally one day, we had stopped in New York on our way home from a trip, and once again, I ordered him mashed potatoes. When our meals arrived, I made sure we had a nice full bottle of ketchup, looked at him straight in the eyes and told him it was time to eat. Of course, he shook him head no, but I looked at him again and firmly said that it was time to eat.
He reluctantly picked up his spoon, got a spoonful of his potatoes and took a bit! It took all I had not to start bawling tears of joy right then and there! Since then, if we’re at a restaurant and they have mashed potatoes, I know he can be included in our meal as a family. One of his favorites seems to be Cracker Barrel.
Recently, we stopped for dinner at a Cracker Barrel and I got him to eat with me and his siblings. Leah and Aiden beamed with pride as Joey ate his meal with us. The next step, eating solid foods!
Ya know, it’s the small things in life that really count!