Archive for the ‘in the yard’ Category
We almost always end up eating separately, in various combinations, now. Sometimes it’s my wife and I in the kitchen and the kids in the other room (in front of the tv, ugh, sorry god of parenting!) but tonight it was my wife and the baby in the living room and my daughter and I at the table in the garden.
She actually sits and the table and eats. She is 4 and I am still 32. Negotiates, of course, but does eat. There is corn on her plate – they call it sweetcorn here, but I say of course it’s sweet, it’s corn for christ’s sake! She doesn’t want to eat it because it is yellow and yellow “is not a tasty color.” I know what she means, but still – it’s fucking corn!
I tell her that she is American, and that all Americans, by nature and nuture, love corn and so she should eat it. She reiterates the issue of the yellowness. But still she is sitting and eating with me, alone at a table and under the broad London sky, and I think a new thought: ah, a lifetime of having dinner with my daughter. I will take her out when she is 8 and when she is 16. I will visit her at the university she attends – maybe I’ll give a paper at the university she attends and have dinner with her after. I will be older then, and she will tell her friends that she is having dinner with her father, who is giving a paper. And then later too, when she is working and loving and maybe having her own kids. We will sit like this.
I am surrounded by females. It is as if someone were around to bless me because this is not what I deserve. I deserve much worse than to be surrounded by females, which is what I would have selected from the menu if menu there were.
I tell her about corn on the cob. It is astounding, in a sense, that she does not know what this is. When I was growing up, I can remember right from the start the special corncob holders, the plastic holders with metal spikes. I will get her some – they sell corn on the cob at Tesco, I noticed. The holders may have to wait till we’re in the US at Christmas.
I decide that we should listen to the Yankee game, in the late summer eating dinner in the garden – in our yard. But the iPhone indicates that the Yankees are playing later. We try the Mets instead – and the iPhone feed is WFAN. I tell her that her grandfather and I listened to WFAN together all the time, and before WFAN was WFAN we listened to its predecessor, WNBC. Both at 66o AM in New York, in New Jersey. She asks if Poppy is listening to this too, the Mets game, and I tell her maybe, though I doubt it. I tell her that we listened to this station while he drove me to school everyday, and since she has just in the last week or so started going to school herself, she is interested.
I eat my salad and my buttered bread. I soak up the dressing with the last piece. I promise to dance with her if she eats four bites of the corn that she calls sweetcorn, and she does, and we then dance.
I’ll be a better father to them the older they get. I tell myself this, but it is probably true. My daughter, at any rate, is now a person, one who eats dinner with her father and talks about stuff.
I hope all of the females in my life will forgive me - I will get better at this as I go along.