Both boys lack any muscle function and lie splayed on the empty benches. I park one on my lap and clamp the other to my side.
As they are now quite large children, I have the distinct impression that I resemble a Ventriloquist, but that's paranoia for you. A group of young persons giggle and whisper behind their hands, wrapped in the public eye of exposure and embarrassment in equal proportions. “Dey are be rude?” he enquires.
“Make a U-turn if possible!” bellows his brother, fortunately muffled by the bundle of fleece jackets tucked under my other arm.
“Not really, they're just at that stage.”
“Make a U-turn if possible!”
“Try and use your indoor voice dear! Er the stage when…….you are the centre of the universe.”
“Nevermind……they're not being rude, just……private.”
“You are say it rude to be whisper.”
“Make a U-turn if possible!”
“Quiet inside voice lovie. Er…..there's different kinds of whispering……ooo look the thingummy is buzzing, our table must be ready.” Perhaps we should all try and whisper?
Our party of five lumbers in the general direction of the table with only a few false starts and stumbles. Nonna fumbles for her glasses so I offer to read it aloud.
“Pardon! What you say?” she asks in her thick Italian accent. I detect that her hearing aides are also adrift.
The server appears for our drinks order. My eldest son makes a valiant attempt. I wait until she's left, “well done dear, very polite indeed. Next time shall we speak a bit louder so that she can hear you better in this noisy place?” He grins hugely, so grown up.
“What is dis?” asks Nonna pointing at a menu description. I guide her hand to the picture, “ah! I see.”
By the time the server returns, we have our choices ready, so does my youngest son who bellows “I want chocolate milk and fries please!” An extreme event for a neophobic! The server leans back from the blast but manages a smile.
Orders placed, server departed, I reach over to him, “great job young man! Maybe you can try and use your indoor voice next time?”
“You said louder..er….er……louder!”
“Yes I know I did. Louder for him, quieter for you.”
“You say no whisper!”
“I know but….” I am interrupted by the arrival of a group of servers at the next booth, who break into an even louder “happy birthday chorus.” Both the boys clamp their hands over their ears. My sons look at me, accusingly. They slip under the table to engage in their brand new interest, lumps of chewing gum. Ideally I should like them to sit on their hands. Alternatively, I would just like them to sit, preferably on the chairs.
The food arrives in a timely fashion. “What is dis?” asks Nonna tapping her country fried steak with her knife.
“What you say?”
“It's steak,” I add, slightly louder with precise diction and enunciation.
“Country fried steak.”
“Again please, I can't hear you properly.”
“ S…t…e…a…k,” I spell.
“Pardon me, again?”
“STEAK!” I yell, turning ever so slightly puce in the face. The boys look at me, eyes like saucers, frozen. I hear him whisper “she is mad?”
Maybe I am, or very soon will be.
[*] Beautifully Rambunctious Autistic Tribe
Rats to you Mr. Savage.
Here is another blog that’s newish to me that you might enjoy, “The Funny Farm.” Need somewhere to start? How about here on her post called ”
Love me some Bean,” coz you know I’m a little biased. Don’t forget to say hello to her!
In addition, here’s another new favourite that’s really an old favourite before I lost all my bookmarks called “Send Chocolate.” If this IS new to you then you might like to start here on her insightful post called “What I learned.” If that’s not community spirited then I don’t know what is!
What was that?
Ooo you big rudey!