Dining with Heathens…

As a general rule, I am appalled by the uncouth nature of the discussions that waft over our dinner table each evening, filling our house with the familiar stench of gaucheness. Last Thursday was no exception. Mind you, my husband and I were dining at a rather swank establishment, living in abject fear that one or both of our heathens would say or do something that would mortify us beyond comprehension.

Not that we’d be surprised.

“Mom, these carrots taste like the inside of a shoe.” Oy! Thank God the waitress had already flitted back to her lair by the time that snippet of speech tumbled forth for the whole fricking world to hear. Out of earshot, as it were. Ostensibly, anyway. I surmised that Grandma and Grandpa, who were also present at said grand and glorious soiree, would then call into question what we had been teaching our dear charges for the past nine years, specifically with regard to table manners (or the lack thereof). But apparently, they remembered well what it was like to be embarrassed by a brood of tactless children—one of whom happened to be me.

“Honey, is that a nice thing to say?! How on earth would you know what the inside of a shoe tastes like anyway?” I scolded, swallowing a melon-sized chortle and glancing around to see if anyone had heard the carrot comment or, worse yet, had detected my shameful amusement with the whole affair.

“I licked Daddy’s shoe once and that’s EXACTLY what these carrots taste like,” she spat, unleashing her inner-food critic upon us all.

Needless to say, at this point in the discussion I fell silent—both stunned and disturbed by the information I had been supplied, as well as indescribably mortified by its implications. I mean, what do you say to a child who has admitted to having tasted a shoe?! Much less, the INSIDE of a shoe?!

I’ve got nothing for that. Zilch. Nada. No pat little responses exist in my repertoire of snappy parental comebacks for such an inane remark.

So we moved on—to the next set of things for which I was unprepared.

To be continued…

Planet Mom: It’s where I live.

Copyright 2010 Melinda L. Wentzel


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