(Written and typed by Oliver)
We’re having risotto for dinner. I like pretty much any food, but risotto is the minority. Only Mom and Dad like it but they don’t like it when we complain. Now let me tell you about the worst dinner of the year….
Mom: okay, no complaining, so we can have a regular dinner.
All Kids: Ewww!! What IS this!?
Dad: Risotto is good for you . No eat, no treat! It’s our way of eating food!
Oliver: What does it have in it?
Dad: Chicken and vegetables.
Oliver: Anything else?
Meanwhile, Stella begins to take a bite.Suddenly, her mouth begins to tremble.
Dad (interrupted) No, nothing else really.
Oliver: Maybe it isn’t that bad….(begins to take a bite) MMPH!!!
Mom thinks I said “Mmmm!” She tells Dad.
Dad (to Oliver) Do you like it? Have some more!
Oliver: Uuuunnhhh…No really, I couldn’t eat another bite….
15 minutes later….
Mom: Guys, you need to eat a little faster. Me and Dad are already finished. You should be by now.
After the comment, EVERYONE complains.
Oliver:How much more of this do I need to eat!?
Stella: I wish we could have grilled cheese!!
Frances: Mummi! Want yu hod haund!
Dad: (sighing) Oliver, eat as much as you can. Stella, we’ll have grilled cheese tomorrow…. FRANCES! You haven’t eaten a bite!!! Eat a bite and then I will hold your hand!!
Frances: HOD HAUND!!
Dad finally gives in.
6:55 pm, 53 minutes after we started….
Parents: COME ON, EVERYONE! You have 5 minutes before this food goes in the trash and you get NO fruit and NO treat!!!
Everyone is hysterical.
Oliver: But…. but I’m almost-
Dad: Okay, Oliver. Eat 2 more bites. FRANCES, COME ON!!!
1.25 hours before bedtime….
Oliver: May I please have my F-R-
Stella: May I please have-
Dad: I don’t think anyone deserves fruit or treat. Do you agree, Kim?
Mom: I definitely agree.
Oliver: May I be excused?
Stella: May I be excused?
Mom: Yes, you may be excused, if you-
Mom does not finish. Everyone except her, eager to go, leaves the table in a flash.
Mom: (to herself) Why don’t the kids like risotto?! I think a pattern is going on here.
And Mom was right. The complaining for risotto only slightly improved, and nobody ever managed to get a treat. And when grilled cheese was served the next day , it was devoured faster than rhubarb crumble.
(As told by Oliver)
In the kitchen:
Dad: So Frances has now…
Dad: …learned to talk in real sentences, so…
Dad: …you need to pay attention…
Dad: …to her.
Oliver: What is it Frances?
Dad: If you don’t understand her, say “pardon” or “say that again,” OK?
Mum: You know I really don’t like that word “pardon.”
Oliver: Can you say that again, Frances?
[Oliver storms into the living room and flops on the couch]
Balloon maker: Pppfffffffppffffftttttt!
Frances: Ha, ha, that’s really funny!
Summer in Oregon. Click on any picture to bring up the full gallery.
Oliver (emerging from his room naked): “Oh, hi Mom. I’m just going to your bathroom to use the scale. I’d like to see if I have an atomic weight that is more than copper.”
Stella (on being asked how the beginning of her softball game went, as I missed the start): “How would I know?”
Frances (on being asked to count for me): “Wun, Tooooo, Thwee, Fiyev, Red, Bwooo, Cake.”
So the other night at dinner, we decided to play the “question game.” I went around the table and asked Oliver the capital of some obscure African country (he got it), Stella to count by 100s to 1000 (she did so) and Frances what the letter “p” says, (“mmmm” responded the third, neglected child).
Then I asked both Oliver and Stella harder questions, and they both got them wrong, and were annoyed. Stella, indignant, declared that she was going to ask ME questions, and I told her to give it her best shot:
Stella: Okay, Mom, first question. What is the capital of South America?
Me: There isn’t a capital of South America.
Me: Seriously, Stella, there is no…
Stella: yes there is! Right, Oliver??
Oliver (dazed from stuffing as much dinner in his mouth as possible): Huh??
Stella (taking this as affirmation): See! You are wrong. In fact you are two-times wrong because you didn’t even know the question was right AND you didn’t get the answer. Okay, next question: Name a really tall tree.
Me: A redwood!
Stella: Wrong! The answer is an OAK. Remember that, mom. OAK. Besides, wood is not red. Trees are brown. Okay. Third question: Name an animal that starts with a “p”.
Me: A penguin!
Stella: Nope! The answer is a platypus.
Me: But penguin starts with a “p” too.
Stella: No it doesn’t, MOM. The “p” says …
Oliver: Duh, Frances
Stella: Duh, Frances
Frances: DUH, MOMMY!!!
Me: Stella, the “p” says . . .
Oliver: Duh, Frances
Frances: DUH, OHBER!!!
Stella: Can we quit playing this game?