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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Despicable Tomatoes

We found the best restaurant ever if you have kids with ADHD. Sweet Tomatoes! It's a buffet-type restaurant. You pay a flat fee going in and then you can eat as much, as little, or as many types of food as you want. The best best part, is that if you have a kiddo (or three) who have ADHD, in this restaurant everyone is walking around getting what they want to eat, so if your kids aren't sitting down no one notices! 

We took the kids to Sweet Tomatoes for the first time this past weekend. We usually dread restaurants because everyone tries to be very good, but it's super hard for their little bodies and brains to be in control in that sensory-overloaded environment. No matter how many activities I come prepared with, it's usually a struggle to make it through the meal peacefully. Alex and I never get to talk to each other, the kids usually bicker a lot, everyone is up and down on their seats, moving and trading places as much as possible, and it's just chaos. It's tiring chaos. 

After we all had the first choices of what we were going to eat, and were sitting down at our table at Sweet Tomatoes, I thought hm, what's different? Why am I actually enjoying this restaurant experience with ALL my children? Weird! Then I realized it was because when someone needed a spoon, Ben would jump up and volunteer to go and get one from across the restaurant. When Ella needed help to get her soup, Ben and I took her together to get it. When Aidan needed help to swirl his ice cream, Jonah and Ben took him. Everyone made a trip to the bathroom. Everyone was up and down, except for Alex and me! The kids were so excited to help each other and walk around being helpful and choosing food, that they didn't even ask us to come with them! At times, our whole family was actually sitting at the table together, and we took that opportunity to have great fam chat. It was wonderful. All restaurants should be set up this way! At least there should be more that cater to people who need to get their jiggles out as they eat out. It was a lot of fun. No meltdowns, no struggles, no fights, and we actually got to have enjoyable conversation. It was great! 

Another thing our family is REALLY into right now are the "Despicable Me" movies. We saw the second one on the 4th of July with the kids, and we all loved it. We dug out our DVD of the first movie and I think the kids have watched it at least 463 times this past couple weeks. They watch it in the car, and repeat all the lines. They all do fantastic impressions of the characters. So all day, Alex and the kids walk around conversing in Gru-Speak (he's the main character, for those of you who haven't seen it) and Ella shrieks with glee like the littlest girl in the movie. (For those of you who have seen it, Ella sounds JUST like Agnes when she screams "IT'S SO FLUFFY I COULD DIE!!!" when she gets her stuffed unicorn.) Hilarious. It's so fun to have Family Things that everyone is a part of.

One other thing my husband and boys are really taking an interest in is learning Danish. My best friend from childhood, who is Danish, and her family came to visit a couple weeks ago. We had the best time ever. Ben and Jonah were very intrigued by the different language they heard their new friends speaking, and decided they should all get apps to learn Danish. So far, because we're talking about Alex, Ben and Jonah here, they have learned "I have a pain in my armpit." Not sure what sort of situation they'll use that in when we go to Denmark, but it's good to be prepared. My best friend, Ellie, has an amazing family. Her son, who is Ben and Jonah's age, taught the boys to say "butt" in Danish. They still get the biggest kick out of this. We laughed-- tween boys are tween boys, no matter what country you call home, I guess.

Once we went to the park with Ellie, her husband and their four kids. Aidan ran into a friend from school, who noticed that although Ellie's family speaks perfect English, sometimes they also were speaking a different language. He asked Aidan about it. Aidan said "Oh yeah, they're from Denmark. They speak Spanish or something." Alex laughed and told Aidan they speak Danish. Oh yeah, he said. 

My kids have made me chuckle lately. They're just so quirky and creative and awesome. I love it. 

Make sure you check out Sweet Tomatoes if you have a kid with ADHD. It might be the best dining out experience you've ever experienced with your child! You might not even need to use all those activities you packed in your purse, or get out their electronic devices! Although, if you get a 'Learn Danish' app, you never know what kind of interesting phrases you could learn.

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