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Rather than stay and watch Bryce's hour-long Tae Kwon Do class tonight, I met John and the kids there after Quinn's shorter 30-minute class was over and took him home to start dinner. This is a rare occasion around here anymore, since dinner lately has consisted of 1.) restaurant food, 2.) four different thrown together meals as time permits, or 3.) wine and M&Ms. If anyone prepares a nutritious and complete dinner for this family on any sort of regular basis, it's John, who prepares it while I'm cursing traffic on the way home from work or while I'm attempting to act like a present and aware parent while watching the kids in their evening Tae Kwon Do classes. Tonight, we switched places. Our first mistake, apparently, was not giving His Highness Quinn enough warning: the whole walk to the car was drenched in thick demanding whines about how he never gets to eat at restaurants. I quoted him the three places I knew he'd eaten in the past week and told him that cost $100, did he have $100? No, he said, but he knew where we could GET $100. Where? He'll SHOW you, that's where.

At home when I asked for his help setting the table I was told, no, he would not do that, he was getting dominoes right then, and he'd better be having noodles for dinner. The plate I put in front of him was calmly called horrible, I make the worst dinners ever, when would dad be getting home? When John arrived and didn't acknowledge the injustice of the tripe I had placed on Quinn's plate, he crouched under the bar stools and winnied like a horse, he never gets anything he wants, this is the most horrible day he's ever had! Tell me about the best day you could ever have, I asked him. His best day is horrible! The word horrible is apparently part of his sophisticated new vocabulary (which also now includes the phrase 'pull my finger,' a sad fact I learned after leaving my kids in John's solo care for a week while I was away for a work trip).

Quinn finally gave up and stomped upstairs, disgusted with his horrible mom's horrible dinner finalizing his horrible day. I prepared myself for Horrible Dinner, the Sequel, aka Bryce's Reaction to Vegetables, but something happened. Bryce, for one thing, sat down in his chair like a normal person, not someone whose head is attached to a string held by a speed-addicted madman playing basketball. Then, mystifyingly, he picked up a fork and ate salad. Salad, with lettuce in a glass bowl. Bizarre. I got brave and told him he needed to eat his corn and green beans and he said, okay, and smiled. Huh? He took a natural and non-chalant bite of corn (which I'm not sure he's actually ever eaten before tonight) and said, woops, I forgot to put my napkin in my lap, I'm trying to be as polite as possible. Quinn made a few last ditch efforts to sound the sympathy horn from upstairs and Bryce looked at me, shook his head, and said, little kids are so crazy, aren't they? John and I tried to act natural, but we were wondering when the other shoe was going to drop, or should I say, when the spaceship was going to show up to return our real kids.