Bravo, Daddy-O

I went out for dinner with a friend the other night and as we waiting to get on the list for a table, I noticed the family in line in front of us. It was a chilly night and they were all still bundled up. There is something so cute about kids in winter hats.

While we waited, one of the younger kids (all were grade school aged) tugged on his dad’s coat and the man bent down so that his son could whisper in his ear.

“What was that?”

“Pst ssssp pss pss.”

“Are we playing ‘restaurant’ in a restaurant?”

“Pst pst.”

“Yes, buddy, we are. We are playing the restaurant game at a restaurant. It’s very meta.”

In my completely inexperienced-childless-spinster opinion, this man is dadding correctly. First of all, I love the idea of the restaurant game, which I assume involves training the kids how to act in a restaurant in preparation for moments such as these, where the family goes out for Indian on a Tuesday. Because that’s awesome.

Also, how adorable is it that he used the word “meta” in a conversation with six year old. We don’t talk down to kids in my family, and I think that this is the way it should be done (please review above statement about my being childless and having no right to any opinion whatsoever). Not to teach them about brainy words or academic concepts, per se. Just to expose them to those things. Challenge them and they’ll pick up on what it all means sooner or later.

I once told the twins to stop being willfully obtuse. They were five at the time. “What does that mean?” my nephew asked.

“It’s the thing you are doing where you are pretending not to know what I am talking about. And it is obnoxious.”

Then they carried on being willfully obtuse about being willfully obtuse. Come to think of it, that was pretty “meta,” too. Wish I would have thought of it at the time. I would have pointed it out to them.

About Rachel Lewis

I am a writer, ceramic artist, knitter, and stepmom. As a playwright, I had six short plays produced in showcases and festivals in Manhattan, Salt Lake City, and Austin. My full-length play, Locking Doors, was presented by Wordsmith Theatre Company in The New Lab Theatre (University of Utah) in 2005. I co-wrote a teleplay titled “Thank God I’m Atheist” which won the 2015 “No God But Funny” contest founded by the Center for Inquiry. My short nonfiction essay, “It’s Coming Down,” was published by the online literary magazine Halfway Down the Stairs. My essay "The Red Rock Chronicles" was published in Contemporary West magazine. I currently work in pharmaceuticals professionally and write recreationally, but dream of making the transition to write professionally and do pharmaceuticals recreationally. I am a Utah native and live in Salt Lake City with my family and our Goldendoodle. I am working on a collection of humorous non-fiction essays and a second full-length play. Follow me at: @rachel_lewis_ut (Twitter) @rachel_lewis_ut (Instagram)

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