My husband is an awesome cook and the other night he made a very fine something-or-other that we sat down to as a family, the four of us, just like a real functional TV family who doesn't normally keep clean laundry stacked on the table until it's time to put it away.
It was nice.
What I like to do when we sit down to eat is ask the kids about their day and engage them in open communication in an effort to prevent them from doing drugs and having unprotected sex. Sure, they are only 7 and 3, but I like to think ahead and the teenage years are right around the corner. Don't let anyone try to convince you otherwise.
But, unfortunately, asking kids that age isn't terribly productive and our conversations frequently go like this:
Me: So, Jules, how was school today?
Me: What did you learn?
Me: Did you do anything exciting?
Me: Did you have fun playing with your friends?
Me: Anything you want to tell me? Talk about? Reveal about yourself so that I understand exactly what's going on in your mind at all times and so that we bond in a mother-son way, deeply, so that we have a continued good and healthy relationship so that when you eventually leave me to go out and have an life independent from me (despite all the dire warnings I give you beforehand) you'll call me on the phone every now and then and ask my advice on things and tell me how your day is going even when you are 20 and even though doing that is really uncool?
Me: Nevermind. Tristan how was your day?
Me: What did you do today?
T: Eye no no... (shrug)
And so instead of doing that I talk to my husband. When Rob and I talk we chat about this and that and don't really take into consideration that the kids are listening because mostly what we talk about is boring work stuff and we assume they don't care anything about it and, therefore, ignore it.
On this particular day Rob was entertaining me with a story of something he did at the office that he classified as "stupid". And in the telling of the story I didn't really think what he'd done was that stupid. Maybe ineffecient, maybe the long (long, long, LONG) way around solving that particular problem, but I'd certainly not be as harsh as he was and call it stupid.
He ended the story by saying, "Anyway, that's why it seemed like a really stupid thing to do..."
I said, "It's not really that bad."
And then Tristan pipes up and says, "Yeah, that's what makes you STUPID, Dad." And then he laughs raucously (because second to the word "penis", the word "stupid" is one of Tristan's all time favorite words).
So much for our dull work conversations being too boring for those boys.