Loud Fathers


Yesterday we were talking about kids, and my father said it always used to take him some time to appreciate us after he had been working long hours.  “Like jet-lag or something,” he said.  “You know, not like I didn’t love you or anything, but you were just so energetic and loud.  It would take me a few days to get used to it again.”  I thought about this, and then I compared it with my actual childhood, and I want to call bullshit.  My father was at least as loud as we ever were, and maybe more so.  I offer this regular mealtime memory as proof:

“Let’s play Oliver,” said my father, as we grabbed our plates so he could dish out the quiche my mother had made for dinner.

“How do you do that?” I asked.

“I’ll dish out your dinner, and then you ask in your best English Accent: ‘Please Sir, may I have some more?’ and then you’ll see what happens.”

“You go first,” my little sister told me.

I grabbed my plate from the table and took it to the stove, where my dad cut a generous piece of quiche and tipped it onto my plate.  “Is that enough?” he whispered.

I nodded

“You can say it now,” he said.

“Please Sir, may I have some more?”

A growl rose in his throat, from under his bushy beard.  “MORE?!  MORE?! You want some MORE?!!!”

I squealed.  The quiche jumped on my plate.  I scurried back to the table with a grin on my face.

“My turn!!  Oh, I want to do it!” said my sister.

“Well, bring your plate up then,” said my dad.

“And then I want to go again!” I said.

I’m sure there were some nights my mother thought we would never eat dinner.

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