At the dinner table last night. Mark made pork schnitzel.
The word schnitzel creeps me out, but it was way yummy.
Salad and bread complete the meal.
Kallan is suspicious, “Why are Maj and I the only ones eating bread?”
Mark takes a bite of salad, “What?”
Kallan turns to Maj, “You and I are the only ones eating the bread! Don’t you think that’s weird? It’s like they are trying to poison us or something.”
Maj continues eating, “Why are you so strange? Where do you come up with this stuff?”
Mark is all helpful explanations, “In the old days? There were official tasters who had to taste the food before the king. That way? If any of the food was poisoned? The taster would die and not the king.”
Kallan stares happily at her bread, “So I am a royal taster now?”
Mark reassures her, “No, nothing like that. It’s just that there was a little mold on the bread. I assume the oven took care of the problem, and there should be no lingering toxicity. But your mother and I? We’re going to let you eat it first. Just in case.”
He takes a bite of pork, “So how is the bread? Yummy?”
Maj throws her bread down on her plate in anger, “Why do you say things like that? I can’t eat this bread if there is mold on it! What is wrong with you?”
I interrupt her fit with soothing words, “Daddy’s teasing, Maj. You know that.”
Maj is all crabby and she glares at us, “Why does this family have to be so weird? I am sitting here eating my meal all reasonably, and you people have ruined everything.”
Mark apologizes, “Sorry, babe.”
And he holds out the bread bowl, “Here. Have another piece of bread.”
Kallan is happily chewing her bread, talking with her mouth full, “If this bread was poisoned? It’s a pretty good poison, because all I taste is butter and garlic.”
Maj is incensed, “Stop saying the word poison!”
Kallan turns an innocent face to her sister, “Can I say mold? Because the mold on my bread? Is yummy too,” and she takes another big bite.
Maj stares into her plate, “I hate this family.”
I wave my hands, “OK, Maj is right. That’s enough talk of poison and mold. Let’s move on. Maj? What do you want to talk about?”
Maj is pleased, “I would like to talk about the fact that Kallan gets away with way too much in this house. If you are not aware? She threw her wet towels in her closet even though you said to put them in the garage. And remember how you told her to clean the bathroom counters? Yeah . . . OK, but when I went up there to wash my hands before dinner? Everything looks exactly the same as it did before she cleaned the bathroom. By which I mean not clean. At all. Plus? I did not see her washing her hands before dinner, and so she is just eating dirt over there. And I would like to talk about what you plan to do about this, Mother.”
I sigh aloud, “Alright, so Maj?”
“That’s not what I had in mind.”
Kallan bats bambi eyes at her sister, “How can you turn on your sweet innocent sister like that, Maj? I am all angelly goodness over here. I love you! Maj! I love you!”
She throws her arms around a stiff unyielding Maj and playacts great sisterly adoration.
Maj is pissed, “Get this thing off of me, Mother.”
Mark steps in, “Break it up ladies. Break it up.”
There is silence for a few minutes, just the sounds of dinner. Made slightly noisier by the fact that Kallan insists on chewing with her mouth open. I hate that.
And then Mark has a new topic of conversation, “Hey, I saw this really great deal on movie tickets! Two adult tickets for $15.00. We haven’t been to the movies in a while.”
The girls stare at him and Maj points out the obvious, “What about the child tickets? What about us?”
“No, this was just a deal on adult tickets. No discount on the kid tickets.”
He picks up the bread bowl and extends it toward the girls.
They each take another piece, happy to have been offered extra bread without having to discuss whether or not they will be eating the salad and pork.
Mark continues, “Eat up, ladies! Yeah, this discount is just for your mom and me. Too much money to take all of us to the movies. You guys are too expensive. Which is why we have decided . . . your mother and I . . . to poison you.”
And he turns and clinks glasses with me.
And I toast him back, “Long live the King!”
Sometimes being a parent?