Recently Mr. Sensitive had a birthday. He is now officially six. In six years we’ve scaled back celebrations from the lavish wedding-like affair of his first birthday to just cake and a few presents at home with immediate family. We like the cake and a few presents with immediate family.
We had a Kindergarten-friend party a while ago. This was a festive and fun-filled affair hosted at our local OEYC. Imagine a room full of Kindergarteners dressed as superheroes fueled by juice boxes and cake. Anarchy ensued.
But today was a different day, and we would only have immediate family with us.
Upon realising that it was his actual birthday, Mr. Sensitive asked if he had to wear a superhero costume. I said no, and explained that we would not have a huge party with all his friends, but a meal with just our family. I waited for disappointment and tears.
“Good, because it made me itch.”
Mr. Sensitive has Sensory Processing Disorder and lives in a world of too bright, too loud. Which means he’s often worried about these things too. Our birthday goal was a calm day with cake and a few presents. We spent the day doing our usual weekend routine and decided to go for a fancy lunch at a buffet restaurant.
Just that morning Hubby and I had a whispered conversation about Mr. Sensitive’s inability to ingest enough food to sustain life, never mind grow. Plates of food were pushed back uneaten. Appetite ebbs and flows. The child who could eat two adult portions of seafood linguine (shrimp! scallops! mussels!) one night and still demand dessert refuses to take a bite of a single thing on his plate the next. Even with the ‘first-then’ strategy (aka bribe) of ice cream sandwiches for desert. Tears ensued, alternate meals prepared and Mr. Sensitive reluctantly ate some cold cuts instead of the slavishly prepared shake n’ bake chicken and rice.
So we had high hopes about lunch. Mr. Sensitive was excited about the buffet lunch; it served Canadian-Asian cuisine and had a sprawling dessert table. He loves eating in restaurants and comments on fancy décor and fancy drinks. And usually eats pretty well (maybe that’s a hint to my home cooking). Either way, we figured at the buffet there’d be something he’d eat.
Managing a trip to a buffet with three semi-walkers and one Little Miss Adorable who is on a calorie-restricted diet means Hubby and I schedule and plan to the nth degree. I took Mr. Sensitive to pick out his meal and load a plate for myself and the little ones back at the table with Hubby. Once back I divvy up food on individual plates while the kids clamour like seagulls. Then Hubby races up to grab a plate for himself and anything I forgot.
Mr. Sensitive loves picking out his meals, and soon had a plate loaded with Asian noodles, three kinds of shrimp, chicken balls, and a teriyaki meatball. No longer in a state of self-imposed starvation, he happily chewed his way through shrimp shells and commented on their legs. *shudder*
I stuck with the vegetarian options while Baby Dunk inhaled large quantities of meat. Little Miss Adorable explored her chop suey.
I arrived at the table with a plate of sushi (mostly vegetarian, not the raw fish kind). Three kids yelled, “Sushi!” and dove at my plate while other diners stared. Chopsticks waved, children yelled, “I want the white one!” and anarchy ensued. I think I got a couple pieces once everything settled.
At this point Baby Dunk was getting full. I was still hungry, seeing as every plate I brought back to the table went to the kids. Baby Dunk (who is now Toddler Dunk, or simply known as The Dunk) was acting like any Toddler who is sick of being strapped in a high chair. He yelled “Go see water!” (There was a water fountain nearby.) He demanded out – NOW! He threw food. He made life miserable for all around us. In an attempt to distract him so I could shovel a few more bites of food into my mouth, I handed him a chopstick, expecting a few minutes of drumming or attempting to unwrap it.
No. In true Olympic-style, he wound up and threw that chopstick across the dining room. I watched in horror as it arched in mid-air, and then landed behind a fellow diner, who was happily unaware he was nearly the target of a Toddler javelin throw. Olympic judges would have given it at least a 8.
Hubby returned to the table and I announced I was taking The Dunk for a walk. That would give Hubby enough time to finish eating so he could then wrangle our child.
The Dunk then quickly admired the buffet area, then proceeded to run into fellow diners and dining rooms in an attempt to see waterfall. Hubby came to the rescue just as The Dunk dropped to the floor.
We quickly came up with a plan: Hubby would take Little Miss Adorable and The Dunk out to see the water (and the gardens, and the parking lot) while Mr. Sensitive and I could finish our meals in peace.
I returned to the table with a plate of deserts. Mr. Sensitive announced he had to go to the washroom. While in the washroom he kept up a running commentary about the decorations and nice smell – like perfume. For twenty minutes.
Eventually I returned to the table, picked at the deserts while Mr. Sensitive removed most of the toppings off my deserts and I was left with empty tart shells. I requested the bill.
As Mr. Sensitive and I left, he happily chirped about the decorations and all the food.
I was still hungry.
At least I could eat cake when we got home.