Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Family Dinner

Family dinner with J2 and the Little Rottens is never anything like what you will see on the reruns of television and movies I grew up watching, such as Leave it to Beaver, Happy Days, or Pollyanna. Well, it may be something similar to Pollyanna. Instead of "Oh, I had my heart set on lamb's broth today" it is, "If you wanna eat you better get in the kitchen and fix your own plate," or "I'm guessing we aren't having meat with this meal?" Phae is a pescatarian so we often cater to her. Actually, dinner time at the Empire of J resembles the opening credits to Roseanne, complete with my witch-cackle. It may not be the quintessential ideal of American mealtime, but with five different schedules it is good enough for me. 

Tonight, we sit down on time. Dinner is served at precisely 9:30pm, or as soon as Pan walks through the door from work. No, you do not have time to go to the restroom, my food baby is growling!

Everyone is dressed for the occasion. Meaning, the 'naked child' is wearing his shirt. Two years ago a shirt was merely a suggestion for mealtime attire. I cannot blame him, if I look like a fifteen year old version of Bruce Lee I would be sans shirt too. 

All three of the children have something to celebrate. Pan raised the first donation at work and it is a high dollar donation! She earned a free fifteen minutes of pay and a heap of University of Memphis stickers. Mav leveled-up at Boy Scouts. He is a Star Scout! Almost there, Dude, you can do it! Phae is so fantastic at singing that she made Eighth Grade Show Choir without even trying out! And, if that is not cool enough she is performing a solo in the Veteran's Day performance. AWESOME! and congrats to all three of them! 

After the three minutes of good news we had five minutes of silence where the serving plates are passed family-style around the table. The food disappears off of plates. Everyone reminds Pan of her lactose intolerance. All of us warn her that her plate is full of dairy and cheese. I made alternatives for her, but she does not care, "I'm too hungry to care!"

Then all resemblance of civility retreats. Speculations of potential heinous bodily functions including passing gas, future poops, cramping, and vulgar jokes run rampant. In order to continue gross and unacceptable behavior I'm thinking that at our next Family Dinner we will tackle the other taboo subjects such as money, religion, and politics. You know, just so we can offend all sensibility. 

But, I'm not counting it as a loss. For the first time in months we are all able to sit down together, tell stories, unwind, and laugh. Nobody forgot their p's and q's. I could not have asked for better behavior!

As an added bonus everyone stays seated after the table is cleared. That means they wanted to spend more time together, without eyeballs glued to electronic devices. Yes, I am guilty of that too.  And, after conversation dwindled they asked to be excused. Can you believe that? To me it practically made dinner a formal affair. That's perfect for me!  If it's good enough for me, it's good enough for Ward Cleaver, uh, or at least Dan Conner. 

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