Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Family dinner

Does it feel like Monday today or what? I've been so confused all morning, setting out a gym-day outfit for the wrong girl, gearing up for the wrong after-school activity, and wondering whether the trash goes out or not. But I love this kind of week, the short kind. It'll be Friday even before we can moan, "Is it Friday yet?"

We had a nice long weekend here at the Paradis homestead. Jason turns 35 today, so I got the idea to take him out on Sunday for his birthday. Little did I know that Sunday was the day that both the Red Sox and the Patriots would be playing. (And losing.) It worked out okay, though - we headed over to Bar Louie at Patriot Place to watch the games. The food was good, and the beer was good, but as halftime approached and we'd already been sitting there for two or three hours, we decided to make a mad dash home to watch the rest of the game on the couch, drinking our fridge beer for half the price. I don't want to use the term "old farts," but let's just say that we didn't even touch any more beers at home, and I was dozed off on the couch in my pj's by 8:15.

Still, it was nice to be able to walk around the house, talking in full voice after 7:30pm because there were no sleeping children about. And it was really nice to wake up on our own terms the next morning, which is usually my favorite part about sending the kids over to Grandma's for a sleepover.

So then, after having the wonderful chance to actually miss the kids, we all gathered around the table last night for a family dinner. I made lasagna, Jason's favorite meal, in honor of it being his birthday eve. We dined on matching plates, the novelty and excitement of which still has not worn off, and enjoyed each other's company. After we ate, we decided to play this game that makes us laugh when we're all together at the table. (That doesn't happen often because Jason usually works late.) One person, the judge, picks an emotion, and the rest of the participants have to pose in their best display of that feeling. Then the judge chooses the most convincing poser as the winner.

Well, last night we took our game to the next level. Now it's more about improv than modeling. Jason, as the first judge, created a scenario for each of us and we had to act accordingly. So, for "excited," he told Annabelle that we were going to Disney World, Madeleine that she was getting a pony, and me that we had won $127 million in the lottery. (Annabelle's reaction was the most genuinely excited-looking, so she won that round.) Next, Annabelle judged and chose "embarrassed" as the feeling she wanted us to emote. She told her sister that her friends were looking at her while she was getting dressed in her bedroom. (I guess they were supposed to have been hiding in the closet or something? Creepy!) Coming up with Jason's scenario was tricky - he doesn't embarrass easily. So Mad and I pretended to be his bosses, sitting at dinner with Jason after work one day. Annabelle pretended to be the waiter, who gave Jason the old, "I'm sorry, Sir, but your card's been declined." The girls' performances were great, but Jason remained annoyingly unrattled.

But the best was the scenario they cooked up to get me to act embarrassed: I was on a job interview, sitting across the table from my prospective boss, Annabelle. She asked me to tell her a little about myself, and as I began to answer, Madeleine, crouched on the floor right behind my bum, made farting noises. It was hysterical! We were all laughing so hard, we forgot to pick a winner.

The whole dinnertime was awesome because I actually enjoyed myself. I know this makes me sound like a jerk, but I usually HATE to sit down at the dinner table. I prefer to serve the kids and then go do my thing for the few minutes that I know Nathan is sitting down somewhere. And who wants to sit down and eat the gross dinners that I've made, anyway? Not me! (shudder) But I know that's wrong, and that I need to be a good role model for table manners and eating, and that it's a great opportunity to have family time and talk about our day. So, now that we've got the new dishes and use non-disposable cups like city-folk, I'm sitting down at the table more and allowing myself to relax and enjoy it a little.


  1. awwww what a heartwarming story! made me smile. definitely time well spent.

  2. What a good game! Your kids sound hysterical!

  3. Thanks! The kids made up the emotions game a long time ago, and they never get tired of playing it. We always laugh and laugh, especially at Madeleine - she just can't stop giggling and looking delighted, even when she's supposed to be portraying "angry" or "scared." We're a bunch of drama queens around here!

  4. that is so hilarious AND clever! sounds like a good time was had by all.

    ps--you won the contest at my blog! i'll bring the book to the NNE luncheon.

  5. OMG, Christine, I won?!?! Wow! I love reading your blog - that's gift enough. And you're coming to the luncheon? AWESOME. I look forward to seeing you there.