My mother, sister and I started meeting for lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant after both my sister and I had moved out and were living our own lives. My sister got pregnant soon after and had a charming baby boy named Cisco. When Cisco started eating the same food as the adults did, and he was old enough to take out, my sister brought him to have lunch with me and our mother. He was raised in a “foodie” family of foodies and always was a good eater. We met at my sister’s house and went to the restaurant together in my car.
La Posada was a small café type restaurant with windows all around the front with booths next to them and some smaller tables in the middle. We always had enough people to sit at a booth by a window. I had my first brand new car and I liked to sit where I could keep an eye on it, not that it was so valuable anyone would mess with it.
The waitress seated us and brought a high chair for Cisco, he was probably somewhere between two and three and had a pretty good vocabulary. We had never spoken baby talk to him and being my sister’s first child, my mother’s first grandchild and my first nephew he had received a lot of attention and we all spent a lot of time reading to him and doing things with him.
“What are you going to have? Should we spring for some guacamole since we haven’t done this for a while?” I asked.
“Sure. That sounds good and will give us more time to decide what to order.” Mom replied.
“Have you decided what you want?” The cute little waitress asked us.
“Not entirely but will you bring us three Dos Equis, a small orange juice and an order of guacamole while we decide.” My sister answered her.
What I really liked about this restaurant is that it had lots of a la carte type dishes you could mix and match and you never had to order too much food like was the custom at many of the Mexican restaurants offered. I usually would get a cup of spicy ‘tomatos con chilies y arroz’ soup, a chicken taco and Mexican rice. It was all I needed and I didn’t have any leftovers.
Cisco had only been taken out to breakfast once or twice before this so he was having a good time. He was a very gregarious child and had a sunny disposition, he is still my favorite nephew thirty years later, but don’t tell his two brothers that.
When the guacamole and drinks arrived Cisco was given his own little plate with chips, salsa and guacamole. He started eating and looking around the restaurant at the people sitting at the tables near us.
“Hello.” He announced as he looked at the people right next to us. They didn’t say anything.
“Hi!” He said a little louder and still they ignored him.
He didn’t like being ignored by strangers, he was used to being the center of attention and everyone loved him. What was these people’s problem?
“Cisco. Do you like the chips?” I asked trying to distract him.
He didn’t answer me. He just looked around the room at the various people. “Fuck.” He said very matter of fact, it was actually pretty funny but of course I dared not laugh. Our mother had taught us that it was better to ignore things like this so that’s what we tried to do.
“F***!” This time a little louder, but not much, he wanted to be paid attention to.
“Shssh Cisco. Eat the chips.” My sister told him.
Oh no that wouldn’t do. “F***. F***. F***.” Still in a calm tone of voice but he was determined to get a reaction. My sister and I were trying not to look at each other because we were giggling. Our mother didn’t help because she really laughed. That was all she wrote.
“F***. F***. F***.” Again and since discipline was not something any of us were any good at my sister took Cisco out to the car and put him in the front seat where he could see the three of us in the restaurant and locked the car door and came back inside.
“I don’t know what else to do.” She said and then we looked at Cisco who had a crestfallen expression on his face. We waited until the food came and my sister went out and brought Cisco back in.
Cisco immediately started eating his food. He got the hint that if he didn’t behave himself he wouldn’t get to sit with us.
There are many times through the years when I see parents hit their children for things like this I think back on this incident where we actually outsmarted the child.