(Told from young Isaac Welsh’s point of view.)
Grownups are just too serious. They should loosen up while dining like I do and use all their senses. Since some adults need to be instructed on how to relax, I have taken the liberty of giving you step by step instructions.
One, after you get seated and belted in, take your spoon and bang it on your tray, errr, I mean table.
Two, once you have all of your food, hold out your arm with your fingers apart in a salute. Smile and say something cute like Mama or Dada or just let out a squeal of delight. Don’t complain because that sets the cook/waitress on edge.
Three, after you salute, slam your hand into your mashed potatoes or whatever soft food you have been served. Squeeze. Doesn’t that squishiness feel great?
Four, throw your food on the floor and in the air. Watch gravity in action. Study what happens. Did the food bounce? Did a pet come to sniff it? If everything happened too fast for a good observation, do it again, and be quick about your studying.
Five, take some more food in your hand. Squeeze it some more. Doesn’t this feel great? Okay, shut your eyes and try to put it in your mouth. You missed, hey? Great! Rub it into your pores. Get some in your hair. Isn’t this fun? Does it feel soft? Warm? Cold? Rough? Smooth?
If you run out of food, bang your spoon. Come on, you can do this. You’re doing great!
Is everyone looking at you? How do they look? If they need to relax, give them a really cute Kodak ™ smile.
If you feel like clapping, clap. This is another great experiment in seeing how far and fast food can fly.
Now, a word of warning. Sometimes food might get up your nose. Don’t panic until the cook/waitress brings on the paper blankie. When the paper blankie or a wet washcloth makes an appearance, brace yourself and push your head back firmly into your seat. Quiver your lip. If this doesn’t work, do the old side to side, up and down movement.
Not only have you been able to taste, see, smell, feel, and hear your food (if it makes noise when it falls, spoon banging), but you have gotten a good workout from trying to avoid being cleaned up and by arching your neck to see where the food went during your experiments. An added bonus will be entertaining the other diners. Isn’t it great?
If you’re really lucky, maybe the cook/waitress will run you a bath, and you can really let yourself go, washing the walls with your splashes. One key to happiness is not to get so sucked up into the neatness fetish. Do we need to run through this again?
Happy birthday, Isaac! This is a reprinted Reflections column from when Isaac was a wee one.