Friday, March 2, 2012

The Most Dysfunctional Family Dinner

"I've been falling down much lately," my daughter, Wednesday, said, looking up at me sadly.
I nod, knowing that "lately" is, to my daughter, like "last night". Any length of time, indeterminate from any other length of time. "Lately," it was also Halloween. "I'm sorry to hear that."
"You kicked me down the stairs."
"What?!" It's the only time I've actually heard myself interrobang. "I never kicked you down the stairs."
Mutely, with her eyes closed but stretched tall in superiority, she nods.
"The only person getting kicked down the stairs here is Christian," my husband chimes in, repeating the inside joke between him and our son. I've never realized how ghoulish it sounds until right now.
My son throws down his fork. "What the hell!"
"Christian, say 'what the heck'!" Wednesday brandishes a fork threateningly.
"Never say 'what the hell' in school," Husband advises our son.
"Or heck," Christian corrects him.
That sounds awfully puritan for a public school. "You'd get in trouble for saying 'what the heck'?"
Son nods.
In disbelief, daughter exclaims, "What the hell?"

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