We are at one of our favorite places. Quizno's. The Q.
You might think it is odd just how often we go to Quizno's or perhaps strange that I am dedicating an entire post to our favorite eatery. Yet, I am here to tell you Quizno's is not just an restaurant. It is a place filled with friends and a place that has helped my daughter blossom in so many ways.
|Reason #1 for Ellie's 2 lb weight gain in the past month.|
Friendship and Social Interaction
Quizno's is my Cheers. Ellie and I frequent the delectable sandwich shop every single week. This means that I know every single person who works at our local Quiznos and that I now consider them my friends. I know their spouses and the ages of their children. They all know all about Ellie and me (and about Andrew). Did you know that if business is slow, D or A sit down and chat with us? Did you know that every single worker knows our order by heart? Even the new workers? That is what happens when you are consistent like that.
They have patience as they watch Ellie order her meal. Every worker there is now fluent in signing for sandwich, cookie, and water. They also know The Bear's little idiosyncrasies --i.e. Ellie will not eat the flatbread if it is cut in half or in triangles. It must be whole. A dash or oregano is acceptable. Cheese or turkey are not. Eating the flatbread outside of Quiznos such as getting the order to-go is absolutely not okay. She will not consume it unless it is served to her on the premises.
The customers who frequent the Q are also wonderful. They wave at Ellie and smile. We have never once received an inappropriate stare or glare, even when Ellie screamed "DIE" [Bye] to the entire restaurant. It is also were I met my emailing buddy Karen.
|Left: Blowing kisses at some young man. She is starting young with the whole flirting thing.|
Right: Signing "cookie". She seems to think a stranger will let her eat the cookie before the flatbread.
She was wrong.
Communication and Behavior
Since we have started eating at Quizno's, I have witnessed my daughter expanding her vocabulary--"sandwich please", "more cookie please"-- signs with vocalizations. We have also worked on several behavior therapy goals. For instance, she has learned to wait for her food without screaming. She must wait for me to order, for the sandwich to be made, and for me to check out. It was tough at first, but she is making great strides. The Q is also a great place for her to practice sitting like a big girl and not throwing food/cup/napkins. She still occasionally gives into that temptation of tossing that sippy cup, but the frequency has dramatically decreased. My girl also knows the routine of signing "all done", wiping her face, and then wiping the table. We joke that she needs a job wiping down the tables at the Q.
|Ellie is under the mistaken impression that she works at Quizno's.|
Quiznos was where my daughter first walked all the way from the car and up the curb to the restaurant without being carried or falling or pulling a boneless toddler routine. (Yes, the Bear will walk the distance for flatbread). They have a few steps up to the side walk and we have worked on Ellie mastering the stairs while holding onto one of my fingers.
Bribery and Rewards
I always say "Find what motivates your child". The Bear's motivator: double chocolate cookie from Quizno's. Oh yes. The Chunky Chicken cooperated at Target last week just to obtain this yummy, chocolaty treat. The haircut. She was completely distracted by the fact that I had rather large scissors snipping away at her locks of love on her sensory-sensitive head all because she was chowing down on that cookie. After The Bear gets her blood drawn, you guessed it, Quiznos.
As you can see Quizno's is not just an eatery and hence why it was deserving of its own post. Quiznos is a place to get the ever so yummy chicken carbonara on wheat bread. Yet, it is also a place for friendship. It is a place where I can have an adult conversation when this mama bear is so desperate for interaction beyond alternating signing, silence, and screaming. It is a place where I know that my picky eater will actually eat. It is where my Ellie can practice communicating her needs via signs as well as practice good eating behaviors. Where Ellie can work on various behavior goals and demonstrate her social skills. Our local Quizno's is where my 3 year-old little girl is a valued customer. They are our "village".
*Thank you to D, A, K, J, and A.
**Yes, I really do love Quizno's. I have not received anything for writing this post. I have made friends at Quizno's and witnessed many developmental milestones in my little girl eating/socializing at the Mmm mmm toasty sandwich shop.*