Våra ord måste komma ut på svenska

Our words must be coming out in Swedish.

It’s the only explanation She and I can think of for the following phenomenon:

“Kids, come to the table – it’s dinnertime!”
(crickets for 30 seconds)
“Noodle, Beast…” (these are the internet names we use for the kids) “…c’mon, Mom made chicken nuggets from scratch!”
(more crickets)

Yours truly does not want to escalate the situation as he has been warned simultaneously by parenting experts to assert himself without being overbearing while at the same time using a firm (but not too firm) tone, taking pains to recognize that his children may either be peripherally unaware of parental requests or knowingly testing limits, while maintaining full awareness that one false move and Dad’s an irredeemable failure. Thanks, experts!

But since giving up and curling into a fetal position is not advisable (at least until bedtime) he a) blocks their view of the TV by b) beginning a dance routine designed to mortify any and all offspring in the 9-17 demographic, were it to be done in public. Yours truly is not and never has been a dancing man.

“I’ll dance like this next time I pick you up at school if you don’t get to the table!”
“Just a minute!”

Hey, a reaction. We’re getting somewhere.

Meanwhile, the neighbors’ kids who were playing with our kids in the yard just now can hear and promptly comply with their parents’ requests to come home for dinner, despite 200 feet, three other yelling kids, the noise of the northwesterly wind, a house and three barking dogs the size of Winnebagos being between said children and parents.

Beast finally appears at the table after being told there are revolting squirmy vermin on his plate that can only be subdued by eating them. (Try and find that move in a parenting magazine.) Noodle appears about five minutes later and wonders aloud why everything’s cold.

I’d answer that question for her, and without using Seething Parent voice even, but every time I try to explain to her the laws of dinner-table thermodynamics I get daggers stared at me by mother and daughter alike.

I had no idea that Lieb and Yngvason’s findings on the thermal interconnectedness of two bodies in contact equilibrium wasn’t appropriate for the dinner table.


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