Vinnie, Vinnie’s Mom, and Vinnie’s dad sit at the living room table. Rupert sits on the table smiling at Vinnie’s mom. Dexter lies on the floor close to Vinnie’s chair. His tail wagging in 3/4 time anticipating food falling from heaven or Vinnie’s plate, pants, face, hands, or napkin. A large bowl of veggie delight sits in the center of the table. Vinnie’s mom and dad have a glass of wine. Vinnie has a glass of milk.
Vinnie’s mom extends her arms, “Lets join hands. Vinnie lead us in grace.”
Vinnie twists Rupert and lifts Rupert’s left paw and places the paw in his mom’s hand. Vinnie’s mom rolls her eyes. Vinnie’s dad stifles a laugh. Vinnie holds Rupert’s other paw and joins hands with his dad.
Vinnie prays, “Dear Jesus, please bless this food and if I die before I finish eating it do I have to go to school in heaven? If food accidently falls to the floor and Dexter eats it, don’t let him suffer too long. Amen.”
“Vincent, that was terrible. I should know better than to ask you say grace before a meal,” says Vinnie’s mom.
“But, Mom. Remember last week, you said, God hears all our prayers even if I don’t say them, right?”
Vinnie’s dad glances over to Vinnie’s mom. Vinnie’s mom intuitively feels the glance bouncing off her forehead much like a radar beam. “Al, say something?”
Before Vinnie’s dad can speak, Vinnie asks, “Mom, can I get the bottle of ketchup.”
“Why do you need ketchup? You haven’t taken a bite,” says Vinnie’s mom.
“Ketchup makes everything taste better. I was thinking of trying it on my cereal tomorrow morning.”
“No ketchup, Vincent. No ice cream bars after dinner. No leaving the table until you finish eating everything on your plate. And, I’m watching to make sure you don’t slide it off to Dexter.”
Dexter hears his name and lifts his head hoping a morsel of food is heading his way.
“What would you say if I told you I ate a lot at Joey’s house and I’m not hungry,” asks Vinnie.
“I’d say you ruined your dinner,” says Vinnie’s mom.
“I didn’t say it, Mom. I was just asking what would you say if I asked it.”
“Can we eat? I’m starving,” says Vinnie’s dad.
The family begins eating their veggie delight. That is, all except for Vinnie. “Vincent what are you doing with your napkin?” asks Vinnie’s mom.
“I’m wiping the quinoa off my vegetables. It ruins the broccoli and carrots. Can I give Dad my mushrooms and this other green stuff?”
“That other green stuff is sautéed spinach and it is good for you.”
“Why are their raisons in my bowl? Uncle Mike doesn’t put raisons on pizza. Not a cool idea.”
Vinnie’s dad glances at Vinnie’s mom who’s fiddling with her iPhone. “What are you looking for, Marti?”
“Doctor Sampson’s number. I need to put her on speed dial.”
While Vinnie’s mom is glancing at her iPhone, Vinnie slides two-thirds of his plate onto the floor and the beagle vacuum goes to work. Vinnie takes a fork full of food, puts it near his mouth and says, “This is really good, Mom. Thanks for making it.” He puts the fork full in his mouth, chews and swallows it.”
“I knew you’d like it if you gave it a try. Now, don’t you feel better?” asks Vinnie’s mom.
“Yah. Dad at school today, Mrs. Mavis said next Friday is parents take your kid to work day.”
“You want to go to work with me?” asks a beaming Vinnie’s dad.
“You’re my second choice, Dad. I want to go to work with Uncle Mike for the day.”
Vinnie’s mom is on the phone, “Yes, Doctor Sampson, I need to see you tomorrow morning.”