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sunday post – 660 AM

with 10 comments

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.

Written by adswithoutproducts

September 20, 2009 at 11:59 pm

Posted in america, in the yard

10 Responses

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  1. My general memory of corn on the cob is rather sore gums. There are those metal spike holder things in Britain somewhere, I remember using some as a child. I just realised that the yellow plastic bits were in the shape of a cob of corn still in its leaves, a touch that I only appreciate now at 27. The spikes were soft and flimsy, difficult to impale a cob with. I wonder if American ones would be strong and solid and thus actually work, without any safety-obsessed Limey reticence in the design. An early appreciation of the relative tastiness of various colours could indicate a great future in either the painterly or the culinary arts (or possibly both, or neither, or a combination thereof).


    September 21, 2009 at 7:58 am

  2. I actually hadn’t drawn the synthaesthesia point because I don’t believe in synthaesthesia. I think it is something that “genius artists” make up to fill up boring interviews.

    But perhaps this is simply because I am not a genius and my daughter is.

    YES! The double spikes on the American ones are seriously spikey, metallic and no-fuckaround. I will wait till Xmas and then buy some at a mall.


    September 21, 2009 at 8:04 am

  3. ‘An early appreciation of the relative tastiness of various colours could indicate a great future in either the painterly or the culinary arts (or possibly both, or neither, or a combination thereof).’

    For those who fancy coloring book
    As certain people do
    Heres a new one for you
    A most unusual coloring book
    The kind you never see
    Crayons ready, very well
    Begin to color me

    These are the eyes that watched him
    As he walked away
    Color them mauve


    September 21, 2009 at 11:19 pm

  4. The day that Ads found out that there were no coloring books in Britain, only colouring books, he knew that something had to be done. Revolutionary vigilance was called for. A total and unrelenting assault on Britain with color was needed. “Barbara Streisand may sing of coloring books,” Ads intoned, “yet what is required is something much more fundamental….”


    September 22, 2009 at 8:32 am

  5. The son of an American mother, I too grew up in London hating “sweetcorn”. But I loved corn on the cob, and for years it was the only vegetable I would eat. My guess is that your daughter will probably like it too.


    September 23, 2009 at 1:55 am

  6. A velly sage piece of domestic advice.

    parent or guardian

    September 23, 2009 at 2:50 am

  7. well i’m british and i can’t stand sweetcorn but love corn on the cob…

    though we don’t have those little holders, i usually end up balancing it on a cake fork.


    September 23, 2009 at 6:54 am

  8. “I hope all of the females in my life will forgive me – I will get better at this as I go along.”

    Don’t count on it Ads, nor on their forgiving you.

    But putting up with you, now obviously they are adepts in that department already, so what have you got to worry about?

    (By the way, no one is 32, surely you are fibbing, that is far too early to be developing what a –female–friend of mine calls “a stream of conscience”.)

    tom clark

    September 23, 2009 at 10:42 am

  9. I like that phrasing: “still 32.” I tell myself the same thing, even though I’m not quite sure what I’m holding on to. I will say, though, that it troubled me to find recently that Musil’s Ulrich is also 32. Welcome to the age without qualities.


    September 23, 2009 at 5:14 pm

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