When lunch didn’t go according to plan

As I’ve posted before, I have been trying to take Karan out for lunch to different restaurants to get him used to new places, and not stick to a usual routine.

Anyway, one place which we regularly go to is Aappa Kadai in the Dubai Marina. Not only is the food good, they’re pretty accomodating when Karan decides now is the time to belt out loud noises.

Karan has been really good every time we went out – so I wasn’t too surprised when we had an off day. Even for an “off day” though, it wasn’t too bad. We settled down in the restaurant, ordered some food, and Karan started eating the kababs (which he is madly in love with). He’d eaten maybe two kababs when…

… a small girl at the next table (perhaps 4 or 5) started talking. I don’t know what it was about her voice, bless her, but it riled my 17-year-old hulk up. I have a hunch it was her pitch and tone, because he’s normally okay around kids for most part, but sometimes noisier ones just upset him. It’s not their fault – they’re being kids! Karan’s just got sensitive hearing :-/

Anyway, she kept talking, and Karan started getting irritated. I was sitting next to him and he started doing something he hasn’t done in a while and reserves only for when he’s getting annoyed: pulling my clothes with a grip that’s nearly impossible to escape. I think initially when it used to happen, it was embarassing – one, because we live in the Middle East, and two, because my family is Indian. Both reasons lend to embarassment when clothes are pulled, bra straps etc are shown and whatever else. I’ve always maintained when he used to do this before, that I better wear good underclothes when I go out because I’ll be damned if he pulls my clothes and shows off icky underwear (people who deal with similar situations…you’ll understand! Even my Mom got around to this method of thinking).

So he started doing that and refusing to eat. I just placed my hand over where he was pulling so as not to give away more of a free show than he was offering. My dad suggested we leave. I refused saying if Karan didn’t want to eat, that’s his problem, but I’m getting my food first. However when my bra strap peeked out despite my best efforts, my parents needed to be calmed down. A centimetre of my bra strap showing ISN’T going to tarnish my honour guys, just calm down. Yeah other tables might be staring, but that’s their problem, not mine.

I eventually told Karan I didn’t appreciate having my clothes stretched, slowly extricated myself from his grip (which is tough because it’s vice-like) and sat on the edge of the table where he couldn’t reach me. We finished our food, and only then did we leave. His food was packed, and at home he was hungry and ate it up.

He’s got to learn that we’re not going to pack up and run – there are going to be many kids in the world being annoying/grating to his ears. I think the more he goes out, the more he’ll adjust. If we pack him away, he’ll never learn to cope with a range of experiences.

I don’t want to expose him to more distress than necessary, but we need to get him comfortable with this big, crazy world, right?

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