I recently wrote about nasty things people say and believe when it comes to disability in general and autism in particular. Last weekend I was reminded that not everyone is so prejudiced or begrudging towards people with disabilities and, as a change of pace and to say thank you I’m going to bore you all with it.
My little Pwdin loves to be wined and dined as long as by wine you mean formula milk and by dine you mean garlic bread or toast. Mostly he enjoys a trip to a family-style pub or restaurant so when the extraordinarily wonderful Welsh rugby team beat the Irish – who, fair play, put up a good fight – dinner out was on my Irish hubby.
Traditionally, we have a curry riding on any Wales-Ireland encounter but because we didn’t have a babysitter and curry houses aren’t famous for good garlic ciabatta we decided instead to go to Frankie and Benny’s – Pwd loves their garlic pizza bread. What a disaster. Within seconds of being shown to our table the lights went down and the music volume went up booming a rather sickly version of “happy birthday” followed by flashing lights and an equally loud and appalling Cliff Richard, Congratualtions. That was it. There was no chance of getting our, by now, hungry little cub into a high chair. The staff were wonderful and apologised profusely and even gave us a free garlic bread.
Hungry, tired and reasonably far from home, we thought we’d try a curry house that we love we (I) would ask very sweetly if we could give Pwdin his F&B garlic bread there. If not, we’d just have to go home and see if he would eat it there (he was refusing to in the car). We went to the Panama, – the only restaurant I’ve found that does a decently hot and decently tasty vindaloo – I ate so many when I was pregnant, everything else just tasted bland.
I popped in before we got Pwdin out if the car and asked if we could bring in our garlic bread. The waiter said that would be no problem at all. When the three of us came in, Pwd was still in no mood for a high chair so to entice him in, the waiters, at my suggestion, got him their yellow pages to play with. From that moment on Pwd was a little lamb. He sat in his high chair thumbing the telephone directory and trying to wail along with the traditional music coming over the speakers. The waiter serving us took a shine to Pwd and he to him in turn and we had a lovely chat about the rugby and Pwd got his hair ruffled a fair bit which always keeps him happy. And mam and dad? Well, dad enjoyed his rogan josh and I loved my chicken tikka roshun, even though I stank of garlic for a day after, it was absolutely delicious. We’ll be going back for the roshun and the warm welcome again soon, I’m sure.