Being Nimble at Dinner

My job gets much busier every January. Its usually a substantial shock to the daily routine for all of us especially since that up tick in work coincides with the girls going back to school after Christmas vacation…errr…I mean Winter Break. Not even Holiday Break but Winter Break. You’d think the left would have more things to argue about than titling vacations. But they don’t.

Anyway, we’re getting up a little earlier, getting home a little later and rushing everything a bit more. For example, I pick the girls up a few days ago after school from daycare. We get home and since we don’t have much time between home arrival and bedtime we have to get a lot accomplished. I’m making dinner which consists of the normal selections from Dad’s Deli – ham and turkey sandwich, choice of melon slices, milk and sometimes, if I can swing it – peas or corn. At the same time Kinz and Bails are at the kitchen table doing their “homework.” Kinz has math and Bails has to measure things. And to provide a soundtrack, Rye is practicing her violin. In the middle of the kitchen. Complete with the music sheet stand which she strategically placed within the swing radius of the refrigerator door. You open the fridge for some cantaloupe and you knock over some sheet music.

Okay, to fully appreciate this, think of a violin. Now do your best impression of what a violin sounds like. Next, using that sound, do “Mary had a little lamb.” Now do it off key.

Set up three plates on the counter and start making some sandwiches. Run back and forth to the fridge for milk and some other stuff. Tape off a section right in the middle to represent the sheet music stand. You can’t step in there or violate any of its airspace up to about three and a-half feet. Now place a ten year old next to that space.

In the meantime, have a second grader constantly ask you math problems related to rounding. Go over and check every other problem for accuracy. Don’t hit the music stand. Ignore “Mary had a little lamb.”

Bails decides the kitchen table isn’t a good surface on which for her to work. She picks a spot on the floor that blocks one of the access points which you can use to reach the far side of the kitchen table. That means as your turn to your right from the counter, you have to jab step with your right foot, cut to your left to avoid the ten year old, dip your left shoulder to absorb the impact of the counter, plant your right foot again and do a vintage Gale Sayers before the knee injury backspin to avoid crushing the kindergartener on the floor using quarters and Hershey’s Kisses to measure the differences between her shoe and a pencil.

Fast forward a few minutes and Bails is done measuring and you’re putting dinner on the table. Kinz and Rye are cleaning up their stuff and coming to the table. This goes as smoothly Mark McGuire’s congressional testimony. And is constantly interrupted by this:

Bailey: Dad how do you spell “think?”

Dad: “T-H-I-N-K.”

Riley: “Why do I have to set the table?”

Dad: “Because I’m a benevolent dictator.”

Bailey: Dad how do you spell “weird?”

Dad: “W-E-I-R-D.”

Kinsey: “Dad, Riley is putting my plate on top of my homework and I’m not done yet.”

Dad: “Work faster.”

Bailey: “What is the little thing you put at the end when you’re done writing?”

Dad: “Do you mean a period? Hey, wait what are you writing?”

Bailey: “A note to Kinsey.”

Dad: “What does it say?”

Bailey: “I think Kinsey is weird. Period.”

So…at least it was a real sentence with punctuation and everything.

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Dude, you are the man. Love your stories. Hang in there.


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