Dinner the other night was a conglomerate amounting to a serious cluster fuck by its truncated end…I found it hilarious for lack of a better reaction. Mr. Man is transitioning to shortened naps, which is an exceptional experience in the first weeks you are acclimating to a newborn. Mind you, he isn’t sleeping more at night, at least not yet. He’s just waking up an hour earlier from his nap, which yields a very unpleasant Little Man an hour-and-a-half later.
We don’t eat particularly late. That night it was six, but the Ides of Evening was upon us even at such an early hour. I’ve long since given up on waiting to feed my son dinner until we are all ready to eat, but he LOVES family dinner, so often he’ll eat just after his nap at around four or four-thirty, and eat with us as well…I kinda love that about him. The problem is that while he loves his dinners with Mommy and Daddy, his general disposition by the time we eat leaves much to be desired.
The dinner in question, for instance, started out with Mr. Man eating everything but the lovely piece of salmon in front of him, but ended with him raining seasoned rice everywhere and us on the verge of having to replace all of our feeding accessories from the spastic tornado I call my offspring. Most people can imagine the disaster of broken plates and such, but in case you’ve ever been deprived of the experience of cooked rice confetti, this stuff is like the slug of the carbohydrates food group. It doesn’t really clean, it just drags a trail of suspect residue all over your wood floors when you are trying to clean it up. But, I am missing a few caveats to this particular family dinner occasion that the creators of Maalox envisioned during their patent process.
My son climbed onto the chair that used to be mine, but he absconded it some time ago so that I am forced to sit next to my husband. Our dinner conversations have become a music video where no one actually looks at each other, but are forced to express themselves while looking longingly and with great animation out the window. Knowing that my son has a very short duration these days for the dinner he loves so much, we inhale our food not even wincing anymore for indigestion. But, tonight no time traveling worm hole would have helped this meal end with less of a disaster.
Within maybe five minutes of my husband and I sitting to eat, my son begins creeping his whole body onto the kitchen table. Fully practiced in this brand of toddler, we know full well that this is a prelude to my son suddenly launching himself on all fours so he can dunk his hands in our water glasses and tip over our plates. The extra joy of the evening, however, was the Warrior Queen, who I was wearing in a new and fabulous baby carrier, decides at that very moment she is hungry too. So, my son is escalating his total doucheydom, I’m feeding the baby, leaving all of my dishware exposed for exploitation by Mr. Man, and my husband is ready to plotz because he can’t move fast enough between the celebratory food expression everywhere and the possibility of broken dinnerware.
Mr. Man keeps climbing on the table immediately after my husband takes him off, but it isn’t a quick kind of thing. Each time my son climbs on the table, my husband has several failed attempts to grab a limb that my son manages to keep maneuvering out of his reach. Simultaneously my beloved is moving the most fragile of our dinner accessories. As my son is giddy with excitement, he’s throwing his food on the floor, and I’m continuing to feed the baby watching it all unfold like I was blessed with Gallagher tickets.
I have no notion of how long it took for all of this to transpire, but both of us ceased to be hungry, and drew straws as to who would be herding this particular cat and helping Little Man receive some much needed shut-eye.