Dh and I usually get together once every week at lunch at this nice little restaurant by dh's work. We get the daily special and waters and it comes to $18 including tip.
However, when we bring ds, he does not like the specials of the day (curries) and always wants a special dish that even for lunch costs around $10. Then the waiter knows him personally and knows he likes to drink root beer, so we just walk in and the waiter just asks ds, "the usual?" Well it tacks on an extra $12 to our bill.
I have such a hard time with saying, "no you can't get your favorite and soda. Get something less expensive and water" without sounding like we are struggling. We are OK, but only because we have a budget and when we don't Stick to it then that's when we do start to struggle.
Now this summer we have not gone once a week for sure. I'm trying to decide if we just forgo it during the summer, (which is a shame because when we don't have anything scheduled it really breaks up our day) or tell ds it's either the full meal and no pizza that week (we get really inexpensive pizza, again not every week, but I'm trying to compensate here) or just don't go at all.
I can see if this was a restaurant where there was a huge variety to choose from, but most of it Thai which ds has a hard time picking something he likes, which I can understand, he's 10.
I am Really trying to tone down my talk about $$, I don't want to give ds a complex! Should I just be matter of fact and tell him that dish is just too expensive and the soda has to go? It's hard with the waiter writing down his order before we walk in! Yet dh and I love this place, and Our dishes are only $5 (the specials) but they are too hot for ds and he just doesn't enjoy them anyway.
Sorry for the long post.