Saturday, March 12, 2011

Date night at a dive...

I've had a battle on my hands, trying to teach The Kid some never-before-learned "life skills", and I'm happy to say that we've made some pretty good progress.
He's getting pretty proficient at doing his own laundry with all the sorting, soaking, hanging out and all that goes with it... plus he's cooking for the family, doing dishes, etc.
(Just don't tell him that today is "scrubbing the toilet and cleaning the bathroom day", or I'm afraid that he'll bolt for the hills and I'll never see him again!)

So anyway... last night I was too lazy tired to cook and we decided to go to The Royal Mail hotel just up the road from here. Now the last time we were there, I had one of the best meals I had had in a long, long time, (succulent, delicious garlic prawns) so when it came to choosing where to go for dinner, it was pretty much of a no-brainer.

Not only did I not have to cook, and I could have my fill of Garlic Prawns, but The Kid could practice some important life skills... such as calling and reserving a table, ordering the meals, table manners, paying the bill, etc. (unfortunately not with his money this time, but still...)

Now, I worked until 6pm and he had booked for 7, so I reminded him that he needed to shower earlier, so that I would have time to fancify myself when when my little charge left.

Unfortunately, he took the whole "date night" thing very seriously, and he spent almost 45 minutes in the bathroom... showering, doing his hair, brushing his teeth, slapping aftershave on his little peachy-fuzzy face and even cleaning his ears!

Which meant that I barely had time to change my clothes and run a comb through my hair, but I could do little else in the way of looking presentable...
But Ce la vie I guess.

Once we got to the restaurant, he did a terrific job of ordering, getting drinks (a pitcher of Coke)
and making conversation ... and asking me things about myself for a change, and not carrying on endlessly about Eminem - thank goodness!
All was going well until he took a couple of bites of his chicken parmigiana, and realized that it was still raw inside... and that there was a bit of stringy plastic stuff between the chicken and crumbed coating. He did well with going back to the waitress and requesting another meal.. and luckily, the next one was cooked to perfection.

Unfortunately, I was pretty well disappointed in my garlic prawns, (more like shrimps in a butter sauce this time) and the choices of "sides" was less than inspired, and since the raw chicken had basically put him off... we decided that enough was enough. He went up and asked for a doggy bag for meal, and then went back to the "sides and salad bar" to top the chicken off - "to eat tomorrow for lunch".
Once we got home, he made me a cup of Sleepy Time tea, and he even thanked me for paying for dinner!

I'm beginning to see a glimmer of hope here with The Kid.

At long last!


Bz said...

No reply comments allowed to this one...
Ohhh, yes you ARE special and yes a special place waiting too!
No arguin' w/ me now!

Bob from Athens said...

Allow me to rephrase a poster I found somewhere.

Children are like computers
Sometimes they do what they want
When they want
If they want
and sometimes
even what YOU want them to.

Keep up the good work, some day soon, the kid will say thank you when he realizes how hard you are working for his future.

Kathy said...

Sounds like you are doing a fine job bringing some etiquette to this young lad's life. What was the plastic stuff in his chicken? A piece of cheese wrapped in plastic?

farmlady said...

Old habits, or lack of them, are hard to change.
You are teaching him the biggest, kindest lesson of his young life.
He will always remember you.
You are someone very special, my dear.

Fruitcake Sandy said...

A psychologist friend of ours told us his definition of 'maturity' ...

Maturity is doing something good for yourself (correct, proper, healthy, etc.) in spite of the fact your parents told you to do it!

When I think what a difference you are making in the young man's life ... "it makes my heart smile!!!"

HermitJim said...

I think this will stay with him for a long a good way!

Special lesson's from a special person...what could be better than that?

Marjie said...

I think the kid might just be trainable! Good work!

Anonymous said...

It´s great to read about his progress!

Raw chicken!!! I don´t think I would have stayed for a replacement, I´ve been food poisoned because of uncooked chicken once :-)

Have a great day now!

Homestay Mama said...

You are a 'miracle worker,' Kate! He will look back years from now and thank his lucky stars for your influence in his life. Reading your post warmed my heart.

Roslyn said...

These are really important life skills, & frequently overlooked I notice "these days". I try to teach my GS better table manners when we have them, I know they won't learn them otherwise-at least not to MY standards! My Dad was a stickler for manners especially those involving eating & I am now appreciative of his dedication to them!

Robynn's Ravings said...

I think Hunter needs you when you move back.....


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