One son had a whole week off for half-term; the other only had a day. I felt bad for Son1, so on his day off, I decided to take him out for breakfast.
“Where shall we go?”
“Well, that’s really a lunch place. Let’s go to Arabian Ranches, the new restaurant.”
“Awwww.” [Cheers up when he remembers what’s there.]
“Mummy, can I go and play?”
“Okay, but come back when the food arrives, yes?” [Scampers off to play in the little playarea by himself, while I sit by myself at the table.]
Breakfast arrives – boiled eggs for him, an omelette for me. The soldieurs on his plate aren’t exactly fighting for space, given the mouse-size portion (hardly enough to feed a boy who can almost wolf down a loaf of bread) – and the buns in the basket are too fancy for him.
“So how’s school?”
“That’s why I told you to wear your sweater this morning!”
I run through some other conversation openers with him.
“I thought we might be able to talk at breakfast – you know, chat!”
“I didn’t.” [Looks at me as though I’d suggested dragging him through the bushes on the golf course backwards.]
“I’m REALLY cold Mum.”
“Okay, well finish bashing your egg shells into the egg cups and we’ll get back into the car. You’ll warm up on the way home.”
“I forgot the iPad.”
“No, you didn’t. Here it is.”
I hand it over while I finish drinking my tea.
“Five minutes, then we’ll leave.”
A chat – what was I thinking? Who’s coming with me next time?