Monday, September 5, 2011

Dinner Is Served; Part 2

Eating dinner with a toddler is just like eating dinner with any normal, happy adult.  Assuming, of course, the adult is a species other than human.  Toddlers are at a stage in life where they learn new things every day.  Unfortunately, the one lesson they haven’t learned (and won’t until age 13, at least) is that not all new skills learned during the day are applicable at the dinner table.   Take throwing a ball, for example.  Now, like any good father, I began teaching my son to properly throw a ball when he was a fetus.  We fathers have several reasons for doing this, not the least of which is no man wants his son to throw “like a girl.”  (The trouble with this statement is that most girls throw just fine; it’s the guys who make a toss with their elbow tucked firmly into their ribs who bother us.)  The other reason, of course, is that we all think our sons are going to grow up to be professional baseball players.  This isn’t quite true- the average boy has a better chance of getting a college diploma and joining the circus than becoming a pro ball player.  Nevertheless, teaching my son to throw quickly and accurately receives a great deal of emphasis.  Is it any surprise then, that meatballs, chicken nuggets, chunks of hot dog, peas, sippy cups, and basically anything that has mass becomes a device for long toss at the dinner table?  It’s hard to know what to do in these situations.  When my son picked up a carrot the other night, briefly contemplated eating it, (or just took a moment to get a feel for its balance) and hurled it across the kitchen, should I have cheered his good throw or chastised his lack of manners?  Would it change your answer to discover that the carrot caught my wife right in the temple?  And why couldn’t someone have prepared me for this dilemma earlier?  As it is, I will have plenty of time to cheer my son’s throwing skills from my new bed on the couch. 

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