We’ve been lucky so far, in terms of how the Monster’s diet has slowly shrunk, that we’ve not yet gotten to the point that we have nothing to feed him when we go out to restaurants.
Once upon a time, he ate just about anything – much like R does today – and we had few problems at all with planning meals. These days, we’re fortunate if the Monster is willing to accept one of a list of options that we know he’ll still eat… and that’s never fun.
Restaurants are fairly easy for us, when we go somewhere that’s family-friendly – he’ll usually be down with chicken fingers and french fries, or pizza, or something along those lines. It’s been quite a while since we’ve gotten to the point at somewhere we’ve taken him that he’s not willing to eat, but it’s also been a very long time since we’ve taken him somewhere without knowing that a stand-by is on the menu.
And then there’s the ballpark. On Sunday evening, we went to the IronBirds game, courtesy of Pathfinders For Autism, for Autism Awareness Day. Of course, at most ball parks these days, you can get a basket of chicken fingers, but that evening, they had hot dogs for $1… and honestly, who can resist that?
We’re ignoring, of course, that the Monster typically does the following – he takes the hot-dog, pulls it from the bun, eats the hot dog alone and then chases it with the bun.
So, the wife goes off and comes back with two hot dogs – one for R and one for the Monster – all while we’re still watching the pre-game festivities. R’s hot dog is cut up for him (though he’s quite capable of taking big bites out of it, but it’s just a choking hazard). The Monster’s hot dog is sitting there unwrapped for him, still in the bun, the way that they usually are at the park – with the bun all mashed to the dog itself from being in the wrapper.
And… for the first time in a long time, he just picked it up, looked at it for a moment, figured out how to maneuver it into his mouth, and started eating it like a normal person.
In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t a huge deal, I know. (A huge deal would be getting him to eat it with ketchup or mustard.) It’s progress in some sense with the eating issues, even if it’s just the slightest expansion of what he’s willing to eat…