Dad, I get it.
All those meals with three daughters talking fast about who said what to whom, why so-and-so is feeling whatsy-what. How could she have done that, said that…?! She’s my best friend in the whole world… no, that was yesterday. Now I hate her!!!!
You couldn’t keep up. How could you possibly not know which Mary we were talking about?! How had you not registered that boy’s name yet? We’d been talking about him for at least a week!
Dad, I get it. And I am sorry.
More than twenty years have passed. I sit at the dinner table, quietly raging, then laughing, then raging a little again. My inner monologue is saying, “I spent an hour in the kitchen alone cooking this dinner, and all you people have to talk about while we eat is movie quotes, the entire scripts from goofy advertisements, the latest YouTube video of some talking dog, talking cow, talking infant who happens to be a whiz at eTrade?”
Can’t we talk?! Have a conversation?!
Every night, as my husband and three boys eat dinner, they quote things: movies, television shows, advertisements, songs, YouTube videos. They laugh, big belly laughs together. The nine-year-old can’t stay in his seat.
One recent night, they spoke more “Minion” words (from Despicable Me 2) than English.
And I sit there staring at them… trying to keep up. What was that from? Why is that funny? Really?!
Last night, they were repeating the lyrics from a YouTube song called Dumb Ways to Die. Really?!
This must be kid humor. But it’s not. My husband is grinning, joining in. It is boy humor. It is boy conversation.
My mom and sisters and I filled each other in on every detail of our day. That’s what I think dinner conversation is supposed to be. I am ready every evening to have nice a conversation with my family.
Then, “why don’t you try reading the rules, shankapotomus?” And the laughing begins.
I am determined to embrace the boy rules. Follow the conversation. But first, I owe my Dad an apology.