Thursday, December 06, 2007

No In-Flight Movie Shown On This Bird

Recently, a friend shared with me a funny story about how she had to leave work to pick up her son early from his after-kindergarten play program because he had been suspended after deciding it would be fun to show his butt -- or more specifically, his "brown star" -- to his classmates.

Although she and her husband punished their son later that day so he could learn a lesson about inappropriate behavior, she said they laughed about the incident behind closed doors.

"My little exhibitionist!" she chirped.

I totally understood the unique conflict -- that's so funny! that's so wrong! -- these parents faced because something similar happened at our dinner table a couple weeks ago -- an incident that forced John and I to wear our "Responsible Parents" hats while inside we were belly laughing on the floor, doubled over in pre-teen hysterics.

Let me first give you a little background.

Since we've been living in Hawaii I've, gratefully, been able to focus less on freelance writing deadlines and more on traditional, domestic responsibilities. As part of this reassignment of duties, something I call Motherhood 2.0 in my head, I've made a point to try out lots of new recipes.

I've cooked with lemongrass for the first time, sampled Korean marinades, replaced my old in-a-pinch Macaroni & Cheese standby with Udon and vegetables, and perfected a broiled Opah (moonfish) dish that will knock your sandals off.

And while I understand that some things will just fall flat on fickle young palettes, our typical house rule is "Try everything, just one bite; you never know what you might like." (It's not all annoying and sing-songy like that, though. That's just the spirit of the rule, Iago.)

This new experimentation is how we learned that Shea, the kid who eats about five food items total in the course of a typical week, loves lotus root and kidney beans. Go figure.

One night, in an attempt to put some Thanksgiving flavors on the table despite the fact that it was a balmy 82 degrees outside, I put together a pot of Creamy Sweet Potato Soup.

I'm not sure if it was the burnt orange color or odd texture that put him off, but Finn ate the rest of his dinner and left his soup completely untouched. It was only after some coaxing that we were able to get him to adhere to the One Bite rule.

This particular one bite, however, was not to his liking. Not at all.

So he jumped up and away from the table, ran to the other side of it so he was facing his empty chair and place setting, and threw up his middle finger at his soup bowl.

That's right, folks, the bird flew right across our dinner table.

"Finnegan!" we shouted, half wanting to laugh, half in shock. "What did you just do? And where did you learn that?!?"

"___ taught me in the cafeteria," he said, sheepishly.

"You're not supposed to do that," we explained while trying not to look at each other for fear of cracking up during our serious Parenting Lecture. "It's very naughty. And rude."

His response?

"But that's what you're supposed to do when you don't like something!"


Kila said...

Oh, the things they learn at school, LOL!

I just found your blog (can't remember how), and read and read and read. You are living a dream of mine. I was almost crying while reading it! I'm a wee bit obsessed with Hawaii.

I've been trying to talk my DH into moving to Hawaii. (He doesn't want to leave family, but I think they would eventually follow us there!)

What a great blog you have of your family. My youngest is a kindergartener, too.


pat said...

Priceless and oh so very true about these kids especially the males. Glad to know your kids are as real as my grandkids.

Nancy @ World Wide Rolves said...

How funny! And what an awesome t-shirt! I'm not sure I could have stayed at the table without laughing.