We eat a lot of sushi, so there are many meals where silverware is optional. pH can manage with chopsticks pretty well, and she does know how to use silverware–so tonight was, well, pretty frustrating.

Granted, we have had days–weeks?–of everything I make being gross/disgusting/it makes me sick/I’m not really hungry. (For today’s brunch it was German fried potatoes. Not even to get more bacon, and accompanied by gagging sounds.) The last few weeks parenting has been, well, somewhat less than pleasant.

Today I had a normal child back again!

Except supper. Good grief. I actually found myself wishing we were back to a “I hate it!” tantrum (because those, at least, result in us sending her to her room–or her pouting silently while we finish, depending on how it plays out) after tonight.

Well, not really. Even if it results in this.

* * *

pH is not in her chair. She is standing beside her chair. She would like to get back to playing Zoo Tycoon.

Me: Sit down–

pH sits for a second, then stands and picks up her fork.

Me: The sitting includes your bottom on the chair for the duration of the meal.

pH: I’m hungry.

Me: That’s great. This is supper. I hope this means you’ll actually eat something with us tonight.

kH: Snickers.

Me: Put your fork down until we talk about what we’re grateful for.

pH and kH put forks down. kH looks chagrined and amused, due to a long story involving his first formal meal with my family and a fork faux pas that scared the children (we all gasped–and no kidding, and my baby brother was…7? I’m embarrassed that I gasped, but it was a violation of one of the most sacred rules). pH does not, because she’s never eaten a formal meal with my family.

* * *

During the meal:

pH eats corn with her fingers.

Me: Oh, for the love of God,* use your fork.

pH: But it’s DIRTY. (With other parts of supper.)

Me: If you want to keep some weird grain/meat segregation thing, fine. Get another one.

pH retrieves a second fork and tries to eat with both forks at the same time.

Me: NOT at the same time.

kH: Snickers.

Me: You’re not helping.

kH: Tries to conceal snickering.

pH: I don’t want to use the fork. It takes too long.

Me: You don’t have to eat them one kernel at a time. Use the side of the plate and put the fork under them–

pH uses her fingers to put them on her fork.

Me: Jesus Christ. WITH the fork.

pH shovels them onto one fork with the previously horrifying meat fork.

kH doesn’t even bother to conceal laughing now.

Me to kH: This is the Kentucky in her coming out. Your genes.

kH: Hey, at least she’s not eating them off her knife.

Me: What? You mean like scooping them onto the fork with a knife?

kH mimes lining corn up on a knife and eating it off a butter knife.

Me: People DO that?

kH: Look, the fork is a relatively recent invention.** You should be glad we can use them at all. Be more forgiving.

* There are apparently no atheists in foxholes or my supper table.

**Well, technically, on European and American tables. But I was all fought out.

We need more sushi.