Although we had been out to restaurants numerous times as a family, it was not until October 2012 that I had my first one on one Mommy - daughter lunch date with Aziza. I'm not talking the kind of lunch where I hurried through a lunch while feeding Aziza baby purees as she sat in a high chair beside me. We had done that MANY times. I'm talking a real lunch date with my daughter.
It was a weekday, and both Aziza and I had taken the whole day off work and school to attend her medical and therapy appointments. On a whim, we ended up at a very busy and very loud Jack Astor's restaurant. The hostess asked me if we needed a highchair as she eyed the toddler-sized child clutching my hand. I told her we did not and she seated us at a two-person booth. Aziza sat across the table from me for the first time in her entire life. I was so used to having her always sitting at my side so I could help her. But, Aziza was a 6 year old girl at this time and I decided we would try this.
She looked so tiny sitting in the booth but I could tell that she knew we were doing something new and special. In order to make this a true lunch date, I ordered for Aziza off the menu (even if it meant a meal with gluten in it). I figured she could probably manage a bowl of soft pasta.
As we waited for our order I talked with her and coaxed her to try colouring a bit. Our meals arrived and as I started eating, Aziza sat staring at me wondering what the expectation was here for her. I told her to eat her pasta, and she would look at it and pick up her spoon but she would not touch the pasta.
After thirty minutes of gentle coaxing, and once she realized that this was HER lunch she bravely decided to take a bite. BUT YIKES - just at that moment the restaurant music got very loud and caught my little Princess off guard. I thought for sure that was it and that she wouldn't even try to eat after being startled.
But she did! And she did such a great job eating her pasta all by herself across the table from me. She was very proud of herself.
For dessert she had ice cream - her favorite. At this point she was kind of done with sitting nicely. As we were leaving and I helped Aziza from her seat a gigantic pile of pasta fell off her lap and onto the floor. But I didn't care, my big 6 year old girl had eaten a big girl lunch in a restaurant all by herself. And as we walked hand in hand out the door past all of the other diners who were oblivious to this milestone, both me and my girl were smiling at what we had just accomplished.
A mother - daughter date that I am so very glad that we had. And although I had only a junky cell phone camera with me ... at least I had a camera.