Friday, October 16, 2015

Twinese King

 Ming and King of the Twinese

There should be some reward for going to the Doctor's office.

First reward: No Thomas Center. 

In CharleyVerbiage, this stands for Sertoma Center. Not that he doesn't like the Sertoma Center, it's just that he likes the idea of not liking it. After all, what fun is it if you get to get out of something you like?

Reward number two: Van ride.

Usually Brad has the van. But when we take a road trip to the Dr. office which is located in Vonore, it takes us a little over an hour, so we take the better wheels. My car is fine, but it doesn't have the bells and whistles. For example, the doors don't slide open and shut by pushing a button. The trunk is a trunk, not a hatch, that opens and closes when you push a button. And let's face it, buttons rule.

Reward number three: CD King.

The first half hour of the trip is spent with Amy Grant. And me. Singing at the top of my lungs. No, I can't sing like her. No, I don't care. No, I don't feel sorry for anyone who puts their hands over their ears while I'm crooning. Unfortunately, there comes a time when even Amy Grant takes a back seat to High School Musical. 

And since I'm driving that means someone else is in charge of the CD player, and according to Sir Charles of Palmer, that makes him King. High School Musical it is. Then Lion King (we'll keep that one), Tarzan (yep, that too), Cher (Believe), and of course, Annie (The original Soundtrack), and our all time favorite, Grease. He sings the Danny part. I sing the Sandy part.

"Mom, you sing-a-ling," he says.

I think he means ding-a-ling.

Once we've been through each and every favorite song on these CDs, we start all over again, minus Amy Grant, which I've packed back in it's jewel case and tucked back into my purse to keep sticky fingers from giving it a new home in the black hole of his bedroom, never to be seen from again.

Reward number three: Breakfast

On the run, of course. Because what fun is a road trip without coffee and hash brown crumbs all over your new jeans?

Reward number four: Lunch

After the better part of an hour arguing that No, we are NOT eating at that Chinese Restaurant he just can't get enough of. The conversation goes something like this:

Him: I hungry, Mom.

Me: You Just ate.

Him: I starving here.

Me: Where would you like to go? (Big mistake) 

Him: Twinese

Me: We are NOT going to that Chinese restaurant and you know it. The food is loaded with carbs.

Him: Yes I are.

Me: Let's go get a salad.

Him: Twinese.

Me: No way.

Him: Yes way.

Long pause.

Me: Who died and left you King?

Him: Twinese King.  That's me.

And so it goes. All the way from Vonore, through Maryville, the outskirts of Knoxville, down Merchants Rd., onto Broadway, through Fountain City, and into Halls. Salads everywhere. Panera to the left, Friday afternoon, no Sertoma, no Work, and here I am, stuck in the van with this dude.

In his defense though, there's a reason he likes this restaurant. First, he can eat as many plates of chinese "spaghetti" as he wants. Second, the owner, "Ming," calls Charley by name. "Cha-lee." They have become friends. And I must say, it is fun watching Ming and Charley banter back and forth. Charley will be eating, and Ming comes along and says something to him in Chinese. Then Charley tries to repeat it. "Chakalaka laka aka aha!" While some may think Charley is poking fun at the Chinese culture, I assure you, every time he attempts to speak Chinese it's a term of endearment. 

And why not? People with Down syndrome are the epitomy of grace. Charley is a grace-filled man who believes in acceptance. No matter who, no matter what. 

Ming gets this. He accepts Charley too. It's a wonderful thing to watch when two people from different walks of life open their hearts with no expectations. 

Still, there are these things called Sesame Chicken, Sweet and Sour Chicken, General Tsaos chicken, Soy sauce, and those cute little sugary donuts. Yum, Yum. And of course, Ming, who places himself beside Charley's already overloaded plate to say,  "Mo skettie coming, Cha-lee."

So little time, so much Twinese!

But that is then. And this is today. I'm behind the wheel, which means when it comes to restaurant selection, Mom rules.

I tell him NO. For the last time, NO. We are NOT doing Chinese.

He reaches into my purse, takes out the CD case, pops Amy Grant into the CD player, and turns up the volume.

"Sing, Mom."

And just like that, it's Good bye Lion King, hello Sing-a-ling. 

And, Ming. 

If I dare say, that's using the old Ramen Noodle.

Ming lights candles on Charley's birthday cake for his 25th birthday on Sept. 29th

Getting ready to blow out the candles

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