An Apology Letter to Our Dinner Companions

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Jul 182012

Dear Friends and Witnesses to the Apocalypse,

It takes a big man to say he’s sorry, and if I’ve learned anything from being a parent, it’s how to become a very, very big man.

My sincerest apologies for the nuclear meltdown by my son at dinner last night. When multiple servers came by the table to offer us our check and some to-go boxes before they’d actually served our food, well, I knew dinner out with the kids wasn’t going well.

Though only two years old and prone to the occasional temper tantrum, our boy is normally the kid that makes us look like genius parents. This is the kid who could entertain himself quietly for hours with a couple books and a handful of toy trucks. This is the kid who routinely reprimands his baby sister for making a mess at dinner. And this is the kid who, last night, was apparently possessed by the devil.

Speaking of Lucifer, it really wasn’t appropriate for me to say that my son was “a demon spawn thrust forth from the loins of Satan himself.” I mean, I really don’t have any concrete evidence that my wife had an extramarital affair with the Prince of Darkness, yielding our oldest child. Besides, while I’ve never done a paternity test, there’s at least enough of a passing resemblance to say that he’s probably my boy. So we’ll chalk that comment up to exaggeration.

Also, I really had no intention of selling my son to the chef for use in the night’s lamb special, despite what I may have said. Everyone knows that the white meat of a two-year-old boy would be better suited as a pork substitute, so that was just a silly comment by me.

Despite all the insanity, I like to think that maybe you gleaned a few awesome parenting techniques from my handling of the situation. My rapid progression from comforting my son, to sternly reproaching him, to threatening him with permanent forfeiture of all his toys, to completely losing my shit, is a patented, yet tried-and-true methodology. Also, when my son did eventually calm down and offer me an apology for his behavior, and I refused to accept it and instead turned into a pouty two-year-old myself, I call that technique “turnabout is fair play.” Feel free to borrow any of these methods for use with your own kids.

Anyway, sorry again. I hope you were able to salvage a decent evening. And yes, we would be happy to take you up on your offer to meet again for dinner in 15 years. I’ll put it on my calendar.

Until 2027, most sincerely yours,

Dad on Arrival