Sunday… the typical “family day”. Quality time with the kids is the general rule. Last sunday was no exception. Plans for a late lunch at tepanyaki restaurant with the kids and… (cue suspenseful music) THE GRANDPARENTS! Wonderful people, no doubt, but outings with them means I have to bear the constant watchful eye of the Mother Queen (a.k.a. Grandma). Should there be tantrums, messes or any unpleasantness, you can bet there will be a constant ringing in me left ear and limited babysitting options for the next month. All this of course, after I tolerate the famous GLARE from the Queen; a sort of “off with her head” silent reprimand.
After a “night off” from mommy duties I arrive rested and refreshed at my family lunch date. The host at the restaurant is compelled to tell me how well my kids are behaving. Score one for the boys! And mommy, of course! At the table everyone is smiling and the crayons are out. All is good!
The waitress comes to take our order. She looks somewhat surprised when I specifically order the “miso” soup for my 9-year-old son Javi. She asks if he wants the chicken broth to double-check, but I insist on miso. I notice the “ooook, whatever you say” look in her eye. Hehehehe, I notice my parents are also looking at me with the same expression and I choose to disregard their warning stares.
Finally the soup arrives. The King and Queen stare at Javi expectantly. I can almost hear their thoughts: “She’s crazy if she thinks he’s going to eat that!” Javi begins to probe the odd-looking liquid with the spoon. I see the look of “gross” in his face when a piece of sea weed rises to the surface. My mom almost smiles triumphantly, but holds back when she notices I’m not worried.
“You don’t have to eat the sea weed,” I say.
“That’s sea weed?” comes the reply from my son. (Hehehe, I was expecting that!)
“Yes, try it if you like,” I tell him.
But of course, he disregards me and continues probing the soup with the spoon. Suddenly, there is a piece of tofu! My son smiles triumphantly and I finally let go of my breath. He swallows it in one gulp and continues exploring the bottom of the bowl. His face begins to change. I notice there is a lot of sea weed coming up. The Mother Queen brightens. There is still hope, she thinks. Without warning, Javi removes the spoon from the bowl and complains loud and clear:
“There is not enough tofu in my soup!”
At this point I’m drooling over my son’s awesomeness. Did he just say that? Is he for real? Yes! Noticing my neurons have been rendered useless by a simple sentence, my dad chips in and requests extra tofu for my son. Another look of surprise from the waitress. She brings back a little bowl full of the little white squares. Javi looks at me and asks if he can put them “all in there.” I say yes.
Ten minutes later: A little broth and pieces of sea weed is all that is left. Even the Mother Queen is happy! (Mental note: Buy some tofu!)