Don't get me wrong, most days I'm very grateful for these precious moments in my sons' lives...when they're still young and sweet...and eager to talk to me at mealtimes. Right now we get detailed, lively reports of "who got in trouble in school" or "what the assembly was about" or sometimes "why I hate art class", and we don't even have to threaten their videogame-time to make them spill it! I realize that someday they will probably morph into sullen, unresponsive boys who will hunch over the table shoveling food into their mouths, emitting an occasional grunt or, at best, a monosyllabic response to any Parental Inquiry.
Tonight, though, it might have been better to replace the Youthful Chatterboxes with Silent Teenagers...since this is a sample of what passed for sparkling dinner conversation:
Derek: "We watched a video today about a musician, and the person had a German accent, so when he said 'I'm the greatest pianist in the world', it sounded like the greatest PENIS!" (cue hysterical laughter as he cracks himself up...)
Then later, when he had finished his fishsticks...and pasta salad...and potato salad...and pretzels, I asked him if he would like some nuts (I know, I really should have thought that one through!). He instantly replied, "But I already have some!" And it must have been an Autopilot Error (you know, the ones that should stay in your head, NOT be said out loud?), because it was hardly out of his mouth before he turned around to face my Mom Glare and blurted, "Sorry!" Then he quickly added, "Well, we were talking about Lance Armstrong in class today!" (Ooh, nice save, buddy...if there's a respectable way to interject testicles into polite dinnertime dialogue, I guess that would be it...
And as a fitting--not appropriate, mind you, but fitting--conclusion to the meal, Riley excused himself, and as he left the table, he made a strange croaking noise in his throat, giggled, and announced, "Oops, fake burp!"
From now on, I'm eating a nice, quiet, civilized dinner on the back porch...alone!