Elliot, age 8, on my left. Daniel, age 19, on my right. Martin, AKA Hubby, across from me.
Supper tonight was a family favorite: steaks smothered in tomato and olive sauce served with pasta.
After supper, we stay sitting around the table and chat for a while. Which is nice, right? Nice, normal family, chatting about nice, normal things.
Elliot is eating a clementine. He picks up each piece and picks away at it until it comes apart, using his teeth to open it up and eat only the inside then discards the leftover skin on his napkin.
Martin says to Elliot, "Stop doing that."
Elliot picks up the next piece and does the exact same thing.
Martin, "Stop doing that to your clementine."
Elliot replies, "What?"
I say to Daniel, "So, have you given any thought to what you are going to do after you finish school in a few months?"
Daniel replies, "What?"
Martin, "Eat normally."
Me, "Like, do you think you should already be looking for a job?"
Elliot, "I am eating normally."
Me, "Yes, now."
Martin, "Stop tearing your clementine apart before eating it."
Elliot, "But I have to."
Daniel, "But I can't."
Me, "Why not? Either that, or apply for some training positions that start after summer."
Martin, "No you don't have to, just put the piece right into your mouth and chew."
Daniel, "I don't have any time."
Elliot, "I can't eat the white part."
Martin, "Why not?"
Me, "Why not?"
Daniel, "I don't have any spare time these days."
Elliot, "It tastes bad."
Martin, "No it doesn't."
Me, "Yes you do."
Elliot, "Yes it does!"
Daniel, "No I don't!"
Martin turns his head to the left and says to Daniel, "You sleep in till noon every day on the weekend. You stay out late on Friday and Saturday night. You do have free time during which you could work."
Me, to Elliot, "Why don't you just try a piece without tearing it apart?"
Daniel, defensively, "I need some time to relax! I have such a full schedule already I hardly have enough time to do everything!"
Elliot, defensively, "I did try it and I know I won't like it! If I try it again I'll probably puke!"
Martin and I stare at each other.
Martin says to me, "So how was your day?"
Me, "Good! I had a really nice..."
Interrupted by Elliot who loudly spits out a clementine seed which bounces off the table and onto the floor.
Elliot, with an innocent but slightly worried smile, "Oops..."
Daniel is laughing.
Elliot starts laughing because Daniel is laughing.
Martin is sighing again and rubbing his forehead with his hand in that defeated way, and I'm just grateful the seed missed the pot of leftovers that I'm planning on saving.
Tell me your family dinner conversations are similar?