Tea Room

Today we went to one of our favorite places, The Grapevine Tea Room. I guess when I say “our”, I really mean Nadie and I. Stephen really likes the food there, but since it is only open from 11:00-2:00, he doesn’t get to go very often. As for Oliver, he too likes the food. And that’s where it ends. Even though he still isn’t talking too much, it is usually quite clear what his feelings are on something. Today, he made them crystal clear.

We got there early and the place was already full. This meant that we had to park across the street and walk. Oliver was fine with this as he loves being outside. He was perfectly content until we opened the door to the Tea Room and stepped inside. Immediately he let out a moan and tried to pull away from me. It was almost as if he could smell the girlishness of the place and he wanted no part of it. Thus he began his struggle to escape.

It is not a very big place. A small house that has been made into a restaurant and gift shop. It basically has two small dining areas/rooms. This made it especially uncomfortable for me when he started screaming to get away. As did the fact that the gift shop is combined in the dining areas. A gift shop full of glass, porcelain, and other various breakables. It was all I could do to keep a hold on him, much less keep him below decibal ten. I could feel all the eyes focused on us as I did my best to settle him down. Luckily we were seated quickly.

Things didn’t improve much once we were at the table. Oliver just wanted out. I don’t understand it at all. At the age of two years and four months, how is it he knows that he is not in a boy friendly environment? He would look at me repeatedly with his little hands up as if to ask “why?” Why did you have to bring me here? He didn’t want his cars as they wouldn’t roll properly on the lacey tablecloths. He would point to the fancy glasses and go “awwww, nooo.” It was like he was completely miserable for no other reason than he just didn’t belong. Nothing I said or did seemed to bring him any comfort nor tone down his wails of protest to this den of feminintity. And then he saw it . . .

I don’t know how, as I never would’ve noticed it sitting in and amongst the other trinkets for sale. But Oliver saw it. And when he did, his entire attitude and demeanor changed. Across the room there were shelves housing lots of knick-knacks and other various odds and ends. There amongst them was a car. A small bank in the shape of an old-fashioned, red antique car. He was so excited! And after that, he was a different child. We didn’t hear another word out of him to the negative. He dined quietly on his grilled cheese and fruit without another fuss.

I know there is an ongoing nature/nurture debate in this world. But I can tell you that Oliver Harrison Rudolph has a very natural aversion to the girlier things in life. It is all such a new experience for me. A boy. This wonderful creature in my life that completely mystifies me. I am learning daily just how different he is from Nadie. Sometimes it is just from observation and interaction. But sometimes, like today, I get a stern reminder from him. A reminder that I still have some things to learn about little boys. Maybe next week we can go eat somewhere a little more suited to Oliver’s masculine tastes. Perhaps a picnic in a car lot or a nice construction site? Wherever we go, I am sure he will have an opinion on it that he will be more than happy to share.

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