Ancillary Love

Ian is being especially cordial after his stint on the naughty-step. He didn’t want to eat at the dinner table, but now he is, though slowly. He smiles and makes congenial conversation between—through—bites of fried shrimp.

‘How is your dinner? So…how was your day? Mine was good, because I’m with you!’ I’m not fooled, and remind him to eat.

Kelly has finished and is cleaning her bowl at the sink. I’ve matched my pace to his, because it’s less frustrating to eat and remind than just to remind. I rest my fork against the bowl and wait, but not for long.

‘Daddy,’ he says, crunching, ‘you have to keep eating. See? Mommy’s done and so you have to eat. It’s not just for little kids, it’s adults, too. Adults have to eat, too.’ He tilts his eyes downward as he brings another bite to his mouth.

‘And also I love you.’ Bite, chew, chomp.

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