Friday, October 12, 2007

Dinner!

I'm finishing up making dinner. Chris has just returned from getting the boys and, as they come in the house, I say cheerfully, "Perfect timing - dinner's ready to go! Lars, please set the table. Ross, wash up."

Instantly, they spring into action. Lars grabs a handful of silverware and Ross heads for the bathroom. As Lars gets the plates on the table, I hear a flush and then some water running in the sink; a clean-handed boy smelling vaguely of soap emerges a moment later, asking if he can help with anything and monkeys come flying out of my butt. Either that or I wake up from my daydream - your choice...

What really happens is Lars instantly develops a tragic limp, so debilitating all he can do is lurch drunkenly toward the bathroom where he will invariably miss, might or might not flush, and will completely forget to wash his hands. If he's on his game, he'll pump a little soap into his hands and wipe them on his pants for that clean smell.

Ross begins going on about something or other that his brother did - something so offensive that it requires shouting, punctuated with injured whines and pointing. When he escalates it to head-splitting complaints about how the chair he wants to use and the glass he prefers tonight are not matched up, I ban him from uttering another word and send him to time out.

I point Lars, limp and all, at the plates. He picks up a fork or two and staggers toward the table and I think there's a chance he might just get the utensils onto the table but, alas, Chris comes in at that minute and the forks are forgotten. Ooooh! Shiny!

"Dinner is ready," I declare loudly and with much less cheer than my prior announcement. I begin to serve out from the stove, handing Lars (who is forgetting to limp) the plates to put on the table. I dismiss Ross from time-out and he actually does go to the bathroom. I know, because he hollers about how his brother left the place. I tell him people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

As I pour milk into glasses, I decide the children will not be talking at all during our meal and announce as much. We do this sometimes, either for sanity or because we are in a rush and need people to eat quickly or because Chris and I feel like having a conversation that is not peppered with miscellaneous detours about Pokémon. As usual, the no children talking thing is not absolute but we maintain relative quiet by liberal application of Stern Parental Looks. Nobody has to be reminded of his manners but I'm still hacked off from the previous whinefest. When Lars wants to be excused, I tell him he must finish his dinner. Same for Ross. They each have about eight bites left. The ensuing cacophony about how they are FULL and how they DON'T LIKE couscous (which they eat all the time) twists my last nerve. I move a chair with a satisfying, attention getting bang. I say the boys may eat or not at their whim, but they are going to sit in their chairs silently until their dinners are gone. If that means they must wait for the ants to come and carry the grains of couscous off one-by-one, so be it. I say if I hear any speaking, spankings will follow - one per word. Ross puts his arms akimbo and utters a distinct HMPH. "Stand," I say. He glares at me but stands and I swat him on the rear, saying HMPH. "Sit," I say, "silently."

Silence follows and dinners are eaten, places cleared. I send them up for pajamas and they actually go. Teeth are brushed. They're watching a movie now. I want to join them but I also want popcorn and don't think I should have to share - the boys are FULL, after all.

6 comments:

Spice Girl said...

Full, indeed. Full of drama, eh?

Grandmoo said...

How did you get Chris to stop talking about Pokemon?

Chaotic Joy said...

I say the boys may eat or not at their whim, but they are going to sit in their chairs silently until their dinners are gone. If that means they must wait for the ants to come and carry the grains of couscous off one-by-one, so be it.

Did you really say this? I think I love you.

sister k said...

by any chance have the boys asked you for a dog yet? lol...

*pab said...

I ADORE this entry. I pray that I will, one day, be worthy. Most excellent job!

Epiphany Alone said...

No WMP for assigning chores.

Silent dinner = 1 WMP

Spanking for HMPH which is not technically a word = 1 WMP Please let it be known corporal punishment in of itself does not merit WMPs.