When George arrived, he needed three things to be provided: a hat to protect his bald head from the sun, a pair of sunglasses to protect his light blue eyes, and headphones to protect my ears from hearing game shows blasting from his radio all day. He loved all three, and even wore his sunglasses to bed. When first he put them on, all of us exclaimed how cool he looked, and perhaps that made an impression on him.
The only request George had was to visit McDonalds. How hard could that be? William could play in the playplace. George could eat and listen to his radio game shows, and I could read Harry Potter. Sounded like a winner. If only I had known.
The first clue that things weren't going to be so easy was when Wm. was causing some disturbance in the backseat of our F150 truck at the same time George decided he could get in by himself. Getting into the truck for a short person such as George is a challenge in itself, but he must balance on the ball of his foot of his bad leg, for a short tendon keeps him from putting the heel down. Combined with limited flexibility, he lost his balance and WHOOF, down he went in a second. I screamed. He'd hit his head, but in the only spot where he would not have hurt one of the shunts in his head. No damage apparent but a small scrape on his knee and he immediately said he was okay. We got him into the truck.
On the way in to the restaurant, someone pointed out that he was bleeding. He'd scraped his elbow in the fall, and sure enough, was bleeding. We wiped it with a napkin and antiseptic goo I carry.
After, George walked up to the counter. "I'll have a Big Mac," he told the teen.
Stupidly, I repeated an earlier request, "You don't want chicken nuggets?"
"Yes, I'll have chicken nuggets, " he told the teen.
"Soooo, you don't want the Big Mac?" the teen was getting confused.
"Yes, I'll have a Big Mac." George, you see, wants whatever was offered last. We went with the Big Mac.
Shortly thereafter, we had our order and the teen was distracting me by asking me how far I was into reading my Harry Potter book and that he did not intend to read it (no explanation and I wasn't waiting for one). William was running off, and I called to George to come. With his headphones still on, he pulled away from the counter - where his flat small radio had been placed. SMASH onto the ground, batteries going everywhere. Old ladies stooped to help us pick them up.
Radio restored, we headed to fill our drinks at the drink station near the bathrooms. I'd gotten one drink filled before I realized that George was going to tables to introduce himself to other patrons. I gently guided him to a table to sit. About the same time, a large soft drink hit the floor behind me as William was trying to put a different lid on it, though WHY I don't know. I called a store employee over while George introduced himself a few more times.
By now, the entire establishment had their eyes on us as we made our way to the playplace to eat, George dragging his right foot behind in a his distinctive limp. We finally settled in at our table, and had no other major mishaps.
Such a simple thing, taking George out to eat, with the addition of watching a five year old and the confusion of a store full of people again made me realize the ease with which my day is normally negotiated. We jump into the truck, go up and down stairs easily. Such little things so easily forgotten.
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