Inappropriate Dinner Topics for Children

Well, well, well. We had an interesting dinner tonight – it was just 4 of us ’cause Rachel had to work (we decided that this conversation would have taken a completely different turn had she been present. A lot of “Oh My God-ing! This is not appropriate! I’m leaving!”)

We were just shootin’ the breeze about my husband’s work  and I was joking with him that the only reason he invites me to work social functions is because I can talk to anyone (I mean it. If I can’t get you talking about something, then, well, you just might be boring and hopeless). I’m the uber-social side of our twosome. 

Then, Maddie (14 yo) chimed in with, “Mommy, he invites you because you’re his trophy wife.”  Awe, isn’t she sweet? After Mike and I stopped laughing, we explained that I’m not really a trophy wife.

Maybe you’re wondering, “What is the definition of a trophy wife?” Mike shared with the table that, according to ESPN (apparently experts on trophy wives), the age of a trophy wife equals half of the age of the husband plus 5 years.

Thus, AofTW = AofH/2 + 5

I thought to myself,“Okay, I’ll buy that.”

Are you “Modern Family” fans? We are! Maddie, starting to get the gist of a trophy wife, wondered if Gloria counted as a trophy wife. Mike reflected that Gloria was probably 35 years old and Jay was likely 6o years old, so the math would work. Maddie nodded her head like, “A-ha”.

Then, the kids started calculating the age of Mike’s actual trophy wife. Daddy confirmed with the kids that he was indeed, 46. So the kids started doing the math….”Hmmm…half of 46 is 23 plus 5 equals 28. Daddy’s trophy wife would be 28 years old!”.

Thus, confirming that I’m not daddy’s trophy wife.

Then, the kids started calculating how old my husband would be if I were the trophy wife.  Whoa, the head calculators were humming!  Jack was talking through the math process aloud along with Maddie and came to the conclusion that my got-rocks hubs would be 80 years old (I’m 45).

We were all giggling and laughing about my “old hubs” and then Jack (11 yo), while snorting and guffawing, asks, “What are we talking about?”

Then, we all started laughing!!!

We, again explained the concept of the trophy wife to Jack. And, then he says, “Mommy, are you going to blog about this?” I was already two steps ahead of that boy!

Mike told the kids that they will likely never encounter a story problem like this one on their math tests. So, true.

But, we did come up with a story problem for all of you based on the premise that the age of the Trophy Wife equals half of the age of the Husband plus 5 years. Here it is:

Hubby and Wifey divorce and both are age 45. Wifey remarries and becomes a trophy wife to her New Love. The Hubby remarries a Trophy Wife of his own. What is the difference in the ages of the New Love and the New Trophy Wife?

The person with the right answer gets a free subscription to The Engledow Chronicles!

By the way, my son came up with the title of this post. Kinda sad, right?

Are You Talking to Me?

So, what do the Engledows talk about? I”m telling you, there are always interesting topics flying around our house.

My 5th grade son has been asking some unexpected questions lately. These are just a few –

What is cleavage?

Poor thing. With two older sisters in the house, sometimes he is forced to watch shows that other boys his age wouldn’t dream of watching. He’s a trooper! He does it in the name of family time.  So, the girls were watching “Say Yes to the Dress” and a mother/daughter combo were having a “disagreement” about cleavage and were hoping to reach a “cleavage compromise” with the wedding dress. [side note: cleavage compromise? That could be used in other contexts. I may have to save that one for later.]

The question was a logical one since we don’t use cleavage in every day conversation at the E-house. And, I’m slightly relieved, that at 10 yrs old, he didn’t know enough to realize this could be a somewhat embarrassing question! It’s just a matter of time, folks. Next year he’ll be in junior high and then all bets are off!

Back to the question – Since I was not present for this inquiry, the hubby had to address it. How did he describe it?  According to a witness, Mike, while rubbing his high chest area with his hand, told Jack that a little bit of boobs can be seen in this area. Hmm…. I’m wondering what image was left in his head?

What is a bookie?

Huh? Where is he getting this stuff? We asked him what he was reading. It’s a book for his class (The Westing Game). Hmmm…. I had him read me the particular passage from the book. Apparently, in this mystery book, there are quite a few ruffian-types (bookies, thieves, etc.). So, we explained what a bookie was and that it was illegal.

It’s only Monday, people!

Dinner time!!!

What about dinner table talk?

I love it when we all can sit down together for dinner. It’s really very important to both me and Mike and we try to make it a priority. How often do all five of us get to eat together? Probably 3-4 times a week. But, pretty soon it will be just four of us – Rachel will be in her senior year next year and then she will be in college (um….I’m getting teary-eyed thinking about it). I think that’s why cooking and the family dinner has become so important to me.

Anyway, where was I? Oh, yeah….meal time chats with the Engledows.

Um…..before I go any further, I have to explain something to you. Our kids kind of fall into the nerdy category (cute, but nerdy). They are good students, do very well on standardized tests, watch the history channel (along with TLC), love to read, etc. Thus, heated debates sometimes do occur amidst the funny stories and daily humdrum tales. What was the big debate tonight? If you think you can handle it, read on.

Maddie was telling a story about her school day: The lunch lady apparently took longer than normal to ring up her lunch. Maddie told Best Friend (who is also a lovable geek) that the lunch lady seemed nonplussed. “Tee hee hee” and then BF told Maddie that she pronounced ‘nonplussed’ wrong! Another “Tee hee hee”.

– aahhhh, nerd humor –

Then, Jack interrupted Maddie’s rivoting, not-really-that-funny school story by saying that BF pronounced it incorrectly and that Maddie was actually right.

Meanwhile, Hubby and I are both like, “What does this word mean?” AND, all three of our children chimed in with the same meaning (geeks!), but was it correct?

Mike and I needed convinced. AND, the debate was still raging on the pronunciation. So, of course, Maddie immediately drops her fork and rushes to obtain a dictionary and we all await with bated breath to listen to the correct definition and pronunciation! Who was right?????

The kids were all correct on the definition and Jack was correct on the pronunciation.  Mystery solved!

BTW, for those of you that don’t use this word in every day conversation,  it means confused / perplexed / to put at a loss as to what to think, say, or do. Criminetly! I do crossword puzzles about 4 days a week and didn’t know what it meant.

Should I continue with more tales from the table? Nah,….. I won’t do that to you. You’ve held in there this long and, surely, you get the idea. There were also some silly stories and bad jokes thrown in to cap off the dinner this evening.

I find talking with my children very challenging (the questions are getting harder), informative (I learned a new word) and entertaining (they do make me laugh!).

I’m looking forward to tomorrow and to more Engledow chats and challenging questions!

The Strangest Snack Daddy Never Had

Maddie was about 5 years old (& Rachel 8 yrs old) which would mean that the funniest family dinner ever occurred in 2002.  This involves two separate stories that became intertwined in the brain of our Miss Maddie over one family dinner.  Story #1 involves Mike, a shoe and a toothpick and Story #2 involves Mike, Rachel and a toothpick.  These stories were conveyed immediately one after the other – this is an important fact to keep in mind.  Story #2 was prompted by Story #1 due to the common theme of toothpicks.

Story #1 – Mike, the shoe and the missing toothpicks.  We are sitting at the table and the dialogue begins –

Mike:  “By the way, where do we keep our toothpicks?”

Me:  “They are usually with the spices in the cabinet near the oven.  Why?”

Mike:  “Well, I stepped in dog poop outside in the front yard this morning and needed some toothpicks to get it out of my shoe. And, I couldn’t find the toothpicks so I had to use paper towels.  It was a mess.” 

Story #2 – Mike, Rachel and the toothpick.  Our oldest, Rachel, has always had a uniquely wonderful and quirky sense of humor – she can find humor in just about anything even when it really isn’t funny.  Mike mentioning the elusive toothpicks reminded Rachel (age 8 yrs) of a story that she wanted to tell about her day: 

Rachel was with Mike for most of the afternoon running errands and while they were out, they grabbed some sustenance at the Steak ‘n Shake.  The one thing that you need to know about my husband is that if the restaurant has toothpicks, he must grab one!  Okay, so he grabs a toothpick as they were leaving the Steak ‘n Shake , and when he gets into the car, promptly drops it – he drops it between the seat and the console.  Due to Mike’s massive forearms (according to you-know-who), he could not retrieve the wayward toothpick.  Rachel, with her tiny forearm and fingers, was able to carefully extract the item from the abyss into which it had fallen. Next, according to Rachel (and this is where she starts the giggling), she handed it back to daddy and he dropped it again into the same black hole!  I think this is when Mike decided that he was meant to have food stuck in his teeth and gave up. This was funny stuff to an 8 yr old!  Apparently, she cracked up then and was laughing silly at the dinner table during the re-telling.  I have to admit the rest of us sat there kind of stoned-faced waiting for the story to get funny.  (I did laugh a little at how much she was getting a kick out of it.)


At some point during the b-o-r-i-n-g toothpick/Steak ‘n Shake story, Maddie gets up from the table, goes to the spice cabinet and finds the toothpicks for her daddy.  She brings them to the table, gives them to Mike and sits down.

There was a pause in the action/discussion at the table and then Maddie, with a very confused look on her face, sweetly asks (wait for it. . . .wait for it), 

 “But, Daddy, how did you get poop stuck in your teeth?”


Then, there was a …….H U S H……… Mike and I stared at each other, and then the light bulbs when on for both of us.  The poor thing had thought the two stories were related somehow and she had become confused as both stories were being told at the dinner table. 

Maddie’s Brain trying to digest the story she just heard:

“Did Daddy eat poo by mistake??”

“Did poo accidentally fall into his open mouth while he was talking to someone??”

“Was he sleeping outside with his mouth wide open and some poo fell in??”

“Did someone disguise some poo as a snack as a joke and he didn’t know??”

For Maddie, toothpicks were things that one uses to pick things out of one’s teeth. PERIOD.  She thought her daddy needed some assistance in getting something unsavory out from between his teeth.

Well, you can imagine what happened next – we burst into uncontrollable laughter for what seemed like 5 minutes – Mike and I couldn’t speak we were laughing so hard (again with the tears!).  Rachel started laughing just because it was a funny question to ask your father and Jack, being only 2, was laughing because everyone else was laughing.  The only one not laughing was Maddie because she didn’t understand what just happened, she really just wanted an answer.

Once Mike was able to get a hold of himself, he tried to reassure our confused 5 yr old that he had not, at any time, noshed on dog poo and that the two stories were completely unrelated.  It took her a while to be convinced of that.

We will never really know what images were floating through that girl’s head that night at the dinner table – we will have to leave that up to, well, . . . . . the imagination!