Wednesday, September 16, 2009

More Dinner Conversations

From last night...

Medium Fry is not wanting to eat.

Me: Take a bite, Medium Fry.

Medium Fry carefully lifts about six grains of rice on her fork and dutifully pops them into her mouth, shooting me a triumphant grin.

Me: That's not a bite, Medium. That's a nibble.

Small Fry: That's a nipple.

Needless to say, every adult at the table had a hand trying to block the guffaws on that one. We didn't do so well.

From tonight...

We've been trying to teach the girls that certain behavior is not appropriate at the table. Like jabbing your fork's tines into Grandma's tablecloth. Or throwing your food happily on the floor (which results in you picking things up, one item at a time, and taking them to the trash...we pretty well stopped that when Medium Fry had to pick up over two dozen kernels of corn). Or playing with other people's plates and silverware. Or just plain playing at the table, with flailing arms and lack of attention, which results in things ending up on the floor.

Large Fry decided she was not going to finish her dinner, and when I announced at dessert (for the adults) that all three girls were done, she started playing. Bouncing back and forth in her booster chair. Flinging her arms around. Grinning.

I'd taken off my wrist brace for dinner, and it was sitting to the right of my dessert plate (peach ice cream on fresh peach pie...good golly). Large Fry swung her arms around, and then her left arm cleared the table of anything within its span...thankfully, just my wrist brace.

Now, I have a hard time bending, so picking it up was going to be problematic.

"Large Fry!" I said in a scolding tone. "Was that yours?" (We've also been trying to teach them that they can't touch things that do not belong to them.)

Large Fry slowly shakes her head.

Mom asked what she touched, and I quickly explain. "No, Large Fry swung her arm across the table and knocked my brace on the floor."


I try to push back my chair (a tough task when your ankle doesn't want to bend), and Mom says I should stay put and Large Fry should have to pick it up.

Mom has Large Fry get down from her chair, pick up the brace, put it back on the table, and get back in her chair...and then Mom throws the brace down on the floor so that Large Fry can repeat the entire process all over again.

We're on the third repetition of this little lesson when Dad says, "I think she should have to tell Auntie J she's sorry every time, too."

Mom nudges Large Fry. "Tell Auntie J that you're sorry."

"I'm sorry, Auntie J."

"Say, 'Will you forgive me?'"

"'Give me?"

"No. 'Will you forgive me?'"

"You will 'give me."

She said this so seriously, yet I can see the laughter brimming in Dad's eyes. Mom's trying to hold it back. I'm failing miserably at keeping a straight face.

"Will you forgive her, Auntie J?" Mom managed to get out.

I choke out a "yes" and thankfully rein in the laughter that was threatening to burst out after that one single word.

Large Fry climbed back in her seat, Mom put the brace on the floor again, Large Fry got back down, picked it up, and put it on the table.

Mom prompted her again. "Say, 'Will you forgive me?'"

"You will 'give me," Large Fry dutifully intoned.

"I forgive you, honey," I said, this time not looking at Dad.

Mom has Large Fry go through the process a third time, but when it comes time for her to ask for forgiveness, Mom made sure to carefully enunciate each word.

Large Fry got the words in the right order this time, but "forgive" still came out as "give."

I hope our general inability to keep a straight face didn't get in the way of what Large Fry was supposed to be learning....

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