Dinner at Our House

The following uncensored conversation took place in our dining room tonight:

Nigel (seated at table): I don’t want hot dogs tonight. I want to choose what I want for dinner.

Aidan (seated at table): What’s with the whole wheat buns? You know I hate these.

Me (a few feet away in the kitchen): I have work to do tonight, so I made something quick for dinner. [I start grating cheese on the nachos I am throwing together making for myself. The boys are silent for a few minutes as they eat.]

Aidan: Stop staring at me!

Nigel (matter-of-factly): I’m going to say something to you. I’m making eye contact.

Aidan: Well you don’t have to look at me!

Nigel: I’m going to build a time machine and go back in time to stop JFK from being assassinated.

Aidan: Time machines don’t exist.

Nigel: I’m going to invent one.

Aidan: It won’t work.

Nigel: I’ll go back to November 22, 1963 . . .

Aidan: I don’t even care, Nigel.

Nigel:  . . . and I will save him.

Aidan: Stop staring at me!

Nigel: I’m making eye contact because I’m talking to you. It’s a social skill.

Me: Aidan, if he’s talking to you, it’s okay for him to look at you.

Aidan: Well, it’s rude! [He stands up and walks over to the kitchen counter where he deposits his dinner plate with the untouched wheat buns still on it and goes to his room. Nigel, meanwhile, continues laying out his plans for thwarting the JFK assassination.]

I take my nachos out of the oven and sit down next to Nigel, who has eaten his whole wheat buns. He tells me his ideas, like suggesting to JFK that he use a “decoy” in the car. I suggest having him re-route the motorcade. “That would make the assassins suspicious, Mom.” I suggest that an inflatable President in the car would as well. “It could be mechanized so it would wave.” All this time he is making perfectly appropriate eye contact with me. He is conversing. And I’m trying not to dwell on the fact that my other son stormed out of the room (thanks, puberty) yelling about the very thing that Nigel has so diligently been trying to accomplish.

Someday, we will all sit around this table at the same time, all with the same food, and we will converse, and we will not have accusations of staring and rudeness flying around. It will probably happen right around the time that Nigel invents his time machine.

3 thoughts on “Dinner at Our House

  1. mama mara

    Holy cow! Rocky and I have had the same animated, eye-meeting conversation. Rocky decided that, if we had a time machine, we’d probably also have our own Terminator. Easy-peasy. He also wants to assassinate Hitler and send Jim Morrison to rehab.

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