I could feel someone looking at me as I sat and chatted with my grandmother and son at our favorite Thai restaurant.
This is somewhere Wonder Boy has gone to for years- and mixed in with the people at business lunches or simultaneously plugging into their laptops is a mix of ladies who lunch and occasional other kids.
We were talking about what he was doing on the iPad- something that often comes out at Mu just because it is a quieter restaurant and we can still engage with him as he plays a game- when I looked over and saw a much older boy with boredom and a little yearning on his face watching us.
Who I assumed was his mom was staring at her iPhone.
Now, in the blogging world its hard to state that you judge someone. There’s a lot of pressure to be benevolent of all because you don’t know the situation.
But this mom not only ignored her son before the food came- they barely spoke as they silently slurped their tom ka kai soup.
I felt so bad for him as we chatted and giggled away over my son ordering a ‘side of chopsticks’ and devouring most of his lunch, jabbering away about his little friends and my belly thumped along with every bite of curry I ate.
Eating out is always social in my family. The iPad or an iPhone often gets handed to my son, because he is three in a world of adults at a restaurant where often there is no kids menu.
The adults get some chatting done, and whomever is by him sometimes gets lulled into a game or smiles over his shoulder as he watches one of the retro Mickey Mouse cartoons I downloaded.
But he is never, never ignored.
He is still, often, the center of attention as questions are asked, interrupting his little game or someone joins in with a quick tea party where the host also eats all of the food.
I wondered as we left what the rest of the kid’s day was like- was he off from school for a reason? Did she work? Will they go home and go separate ways into entertainment and chores?
I hoped they’d have a good conversation. I hoped nothing was wrong. it’s hard when all you see is a few minutes of someone’s life.
Even as I still found fried rice later on in my son’s shirt I was glad for our times out- that even if it was just eating out and the iPad was involved my son still felt involved and loved.
Not bored and wanting.