Ok, so the boys love Denny’s.
It’s safe comfort food.
Plus, they get to choose stuff. They love to choose stuff.
The funny thing is, though, they always choose the same thing with some very minor variations. Hamburger and fries. Chicken strips and fries. For the youngest, pizza, please. With fries.
God help them if they’re faced with Mexican food or Thai food or fruit.
Yet, this trip they’ve been brave enough to get out of their comfort zone a bit. Faced with no pizza or hamburger choices, they tried fish sticks, Mexican style. One ate a hamburger WITH cheese on it. The other ate fries WITHOUT ketchup. Both tried hash browns. One spit back a spoonful of applesauce like it was steaming poo, but hey, he did try it. The same one ate a corn dog until he found out it was not covered in cheese then suddenly found it uneatable.
But that’s all new stuff for them, and I have to say, it’s always entertaining for me. Like me trying tripe for the first time. (I think I spit it back, too.)
Being me, I want to talk over supper. But I’ve yet to get them talking much.
I come at them again and again. Today I asked about the zoo. What animals did they like? Hate? Did you like the bus ride? Did you see when I caught on fire and ran around naked screaming?
I usually get a shrug or a single word answer.
We did get to talk a bit about the elephants, again. That was cool. We talked about if they were abused at the zoo or not, if the enclosure was big enough, if they were well treated. I was in the minority thinking that they were, but it was a good discussion.
However, every so often, just to make sure I’m not ever understanding what’s going on, something like this pops up out of nowhere.
The oldest looks up from his glass of milk after a very brief discussion on his turn as navigator. “Mommy, is all of this training for being an adult?”
It’s a laser-like observation. I sit bolt up.
“Yes, it is,” she replies.
He nods. Gets a very serious look on his face.
Then returns to his milk.
I try to expand on the subject, but he’s moved on and I come to realize that I’m pretty much talking to myself.
I go back to my fries. But despite what I may think sometimes, they’re watching, learning, observing and, I hope growing (and not just taller.)
So neither the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world nor I are deterred. We’ll continue to get the boys to try new foods, have new adventures, venture their opinions and maybe, just maybe, talk about their feelings one day.
It’s all training for being an adult.
And not just for them. For me as well.