Friday, February 24, 2012

Table Manners

There are many words that describe my wife -  kind, caring, and compassionate immediately come to mind - but there is one particular word that sums her up best of all.

And that word is "gluten".

She was gluten-free before gluten-free was cool.  But now that EVERYONE is gluten-free, like a true hipster, she's moved on to much more restrictive diets.  In fact, now the only thing that she will eat is homemade chicken broth.  There is a chicken in the crockpot on my counter every night.  In fact, there's one right in front of me right now.  I'm not kidding.

To be fair, that's only part of the story.  It's not just a broth-diet, it's a diet that is heavy in delicious fats and soups - often together.  Given that one of her favorite past times is eating butter directly out of the container, this is right up Kitty's alley.

Sidenote:  when we were up at the cabin last weekend, Kitty was reading Finn a book about fairies and talking about the four elements:  earth, wind, fire & water.  She made me ask him what the fifth element was.  Like his Mother's son, he informed me that it's "butter".

Unfortunately, as it turns out, Finn's not a big fan of this constant barrage of soups.  This has caused a crisis of table manners.  We've been forced to institute martial law at the table:  no questions (as they are invariably:  "how many carrots do I have to eat before I can have a treat?"), minimal fork movement (as it tends to be used as a stabbing implement) and most importantly - to combat a severe case of the squirms - if the butt leaves the seat, Finn leaves the table.

It was under these guidelines the other day that I happened to notice that he was eating lunch while laying completely prostrate across his chair and the adjoining bench.  I asked him what he thought he was doing and told him he was going to need to get down and go into the living room until he was ready to eat at the table like a big boy.  With a straight face and without missing a beat, he looked at me and said, "But Daddy, I'm just doing my exercises."

I couldn't get mad.  I let him keep eating like that.  Any kid that thinks butter is the fifth element is going to need all the exercise he can get.