As a follow up to the post “Time and Money,” I wanted to share another amazing example of the progress our little brick has made. You need a little back info first….We celebrated the little brick’s birthday in two (really three) parts this year because daddy brick was out of town. We had the family birthday at home with dinner and gifts the day before his birthday. That was when he got the money he spent on the LEGO sets and Nerf gun. On his birthday, we did the school and social group cupcake thing. Then this past Saturday we took him go-carting, bowling and to his favorite restaurant for dinner. He opted out of the inviting friends party again this year. I think it is too anxiety inducing for him.
Like many kids, the little brick loves Kobe. It is a Hibachi style Japanese restaurant where they flip the spatula, fork and knife around, make the onion “volcano” and flip the shrimp tales into their hats. It is just as much about the show as the food. And, the little brick loves the noodles and white sauce. We make a homemade version to get him by between visits.
So, we go go-karting (much more fun than I ever thought!!) and he rocked it! We went bowling and, even though he didn’t do well (score wise), he did have fun and did not get mad or frustrated. We made a reservation for dinner and headed out to eat after. We arrive at the restaurant, wait a few moments, get seated, place our orders, etc. and wait for the chef to arrive.
He arrives, double checks the orders and starts cooking…..and cooking…and cooking. No goofy, bad jokes, no flipping of the utensils, no flying shrimp tails—at least he did the onion volcano. The little brick keeps asking “When is he going to flip the shrimp?” “When is he going to spin the knife?” I reply “Be patient, its coming.” After a short time it becomes evident it is not coming. After another onslaught of “When” questions from the little brick I explain that some chefs are more skilled than others and maybe he is still learning. I finally agree to let him ask the chef if he (the chef) could do some “flipping around.” The chef says something about it being “too dangerous.” What? Did I hear that right? The little brick asks about the shrimp tails and the chef (who is not Asian) replies (and I swear this is the actual quote) “I leave that to the Asians.” That put daddy brick and I over the edge! What?? You don’t go to Kobe for the food alone—you go for the show! (Not to mention the offensive racial comment) We did not come here and pay this much for the food to watch someone cook—I can do that at home, probably just as good and a lot healthier.
Through the whole process the little brick remained calm and used his words to express his frustration. We were so proud. As little as a year ago, this would have resulted in a swear word laced, loud, melt down that would have gotten us nowhere with management. I can’t remember how many times I praised him during our meal for using his words and staying calm even though I could tell he was extremely disappointed and frustrated. As sad as I was for him, this was his special birthday dinner, I was beaming with pride. He handled the whole thing with as much self-control as a NT 11 year old!
The manager did what he could to “make it right,” but you can’t give back a show that was not there to begin with. From a consumer perspective the adults (even the others at the table with us, who were equally disappointed) were happy with the resolution. But that does not give my son back his special meal. The little brick was so disappointed that he wanted to leave before the check arrived and didn’t want his hat, song and birthday cupcake. As a reward for his control and patience, we had dessert at Cold Stone Creamery instead. Blue cotton candy ice cream with gummy bears and sprinkles mixed in almost made it better.