dinner with pirates
Sometimes we're all in a good mood at the dinner table. The meal includes more than one food group and the kids actually like it. Everybody gets a turn being "super," which is when someone eats a good bite of food and everyone raises their hands and yells "Super-[name]!" Everyone gets congratulated, from the cooks to the eaters. I have received quite a few Super-Mommy accolades for the food I prepared. Then, there are times like tonight, when us parents are running low on energy. It is not a night for prodding children playfully to eat, which by itself is not always a big problem. It's when the mood is combined with a grand, experimental dish inspired by organic CSA vegetables close to expiration in the fridge and a random protein taken out of the freezer three days ago so now it really needs to get used. In other words, it wasn't good. I could see the perfect storm approaching and preemptively grabbed a bottle of bordeaux. I poured a glass for me and a glass for him. We braced ourselves for impact.
Frank: "Ah, this is spicy!"
Me: "It's not that spicy. Just start with your veggies."
Me to Hubby: "Why would they make this hot? I don't understand why they did that. I wouldn't have bought it if I knew it was spicy"
Hubby to Duke: "No toys at the dinner table. Your T-Rex can go here [places stuffed T-Rex on the counter] until dinner is done."
Hubby: "I don't think it's spicey. It tastes fine to me."
Phyllis gets out of her seat and starts doing laps around the table.
Frank: "I'm going to make a deal. I already tried this and even though I like it, I'm not going to have any more, ok?"
Me: "No, no deal. You eat—Phyllis! Stop trying to climb on my lap. Your seat is over there.—what's on your plate."
Duke gets out of his seat, holds his crotch, does a little step and spin, and sits back down.
Me to Duke: "Duke, you have to go potty. Go to the bathroom."
Duke: "No, thank you." (At least he's polite about it.)
After some back-and-forth, Duke finally goes and we are left with two at the table. Phyllis is alternating between sitting for 30 seconds and taking laps around the table, when Frank decides he's a pirate. He starts singing a made-up song, "We're pirates, oh ho, we're pirates, we're swimming, oh ho, we're swimming." He explains we're good pirates, but we don't have small boats, so we swim towards the bad pirates he "spies over yonder" (Not kidding, his words). He says, "Come'on! Sing with me!" Admittedly, it took a few rounds of his prodding until Hubby and I reluctantly joined in, but once we did you could feel the room brighten just a tad. Frank grabbed his fork, pierced a roasted pepper and began a new verse about eating his food. I looked at Hubby, Hubby looked at me and before long...
"Argh, swab the deck and eat me veggies, argh."
"Argh, I eat me food before I search for treasure."
"Ahoy, there, Matey! Eat them there tomatoes, argh. They be delicious and good fer yer body, argggggggh."
After a few minutes, I went to check on Duke in the bathroom. I opened the door to see his smiling face, pants and underwear at his ankles, saying, "Arr, I pretend I pirate, too!"
I guess we must be doing something right.