Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Birthday Dinner Or How I Traumatized My Son

Because it was my birthday yesterday, I got to pick a restaurant for my husband and son to take me out to.  It meant I didn’t have to cook OR CLEAN last night, so I was happy with anywhere.  But after giving it a lot of thought, I picked a local Japanese steakhouse.  Rick and Jack had never been to this place, and I love their food, especially their Yum Yum sauce.  YUM!


It was a lot of fun to watch him cook and do all the fancy flipping and chopping and banging with his knives.  I’m always amazed at how huge the tower of butter is when they come out to start cooking, and how much butter they use in their cooking.  That could be why it all tastes so good.


Jack kept asking if he was putting syrup in the food when he’d use one of his squirt bottles.  I did have our syrup in a squirt bottle like these for a  while, sot I thought that was very clever of him to figure out. The food was very yummy.  I splurged and ordered a shrimp and steak combo.  It was my birthday after all!


Now, Jack was a well behaved boy the whole time, charming the ladies at our table with his grin and peek-a-boo antics, but when the guy came out and turned on the grill, I knew we had picked the wrong place to eat.  As soon as the flames started to tickle the ceiling, Jack hid in my armpit.  He covered his eyes and stayed that way almost the entire time the guy was cooking, banging, and clanging.  At one point, he even put my hand over his eyes. He only cried once, but I think he was too terrified to cry while the flames from the ‘volcano’ (where they stack the onion rounds up and light the center) were climbing ever higher.


He didn’t eat until the chef had been gone for a good long time, and then he only ate a few pieces of onion while sitting on my lap.  The bad thing about these types of restaurants is that as soon as they finish serving you, and the chef leaves his place, they come out with the checks.  They try very hard to move you out quickly.  There is no time to sit and enjoy your meal or conversation after the pyro techniques are over.  So, when Jack finally decided to start eating, we were being kicked out.  Needless to say, we have a great lunch planned for today.


The worst part of the whole night wasn’t just when Jack was hiding from the ‘bad guy’ chef, but that he woke up a few times last night shaking and asking if the fire was done.  He had a few nightmares, and I ended up sleeping with him most of the night.  Poor guy.

Needless to say, I felt like the worst mommy in the world for even considering taking my child to such a place.  The only thing that kept me from total self loathing was that as we were walking out the door, there was a cute little girl no older than Jack sitting at another table.  So, I’m not alone in being the worst mommy in the world.


  1. Awwww- poor little guy! Don't feel bad for traumatizing him, scarring his psyche, giving him nightmares, scaring him away from the wonders of Chinese food forever...Actually, he'll get over it. I can't understand his fear of fire...I mean, where's the genetics? He should have immediately pulled the alarm, masked up, grabbed your water glass and attacked the blaze!

    I'm glad you had a great dinner!! You certainly deserve it. We love your family!

  2. Amanda,
    That was the reaction we got the first time too. Since then, Alice and Garrett ask if we can go to the fire restaurant!
    Hopefully it will be a short lived fear. Glad that you shared!!! It was fun to see the pictures and hear the story.

  3. Take it from someone that has been there, it will pass quickly. You may feel awful about it, but unfortunately you will do much worse. And he will be just fine. Big hugs to you and to Jack. I have been there so I know exactly how you feel. ;)

  4. Aww, those photos of Jack are adorable! Poor guy!
    Sorry I didn't comment yesterday to wish you a Happy Birthday! Glad you had a nice time out.

  5. Belated happy birthday to you dear friend! You can help Jack work through the fear through play or story telling if you'd like. :)

  6. I'm right there with you as the worst mommy in the world -- I took Riley to a Japanese restaurant when he was 2-ish and he freaked out and had a melt down at the first clang of the spatula! I had to take him outside after 15 seconds and ended up getting the food to go! I haven't taken him back yet and he's four...figured I'd wait at least another year before I try to traumatize him again :)


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