It was the most overpriced dinner ever. I typically avoid buffets because I can’t shake the feeling my inability to eat large amounts in short periods of time makes me the person who covers the quadruple plate crowd’s cost. And while buffets seem like the perfect solution for a picky eater, Bear actually needs less choices, not more. $20 for 2 egg rolls, 4 fries, 2 bites of chicken, 1 bite of the other chicken, 2 cubes of jello, and a cup of ice cream made my eyes roll back in my head.
It may have been her discarded plate with bread that “has some kind of sauce on it” and “the thing that just looks weird” that knocked this place permanently off my list.
Then again, the company was perfect.
Note: I am raising a boldly outspoken daughter who’s not afraid to have opinions. Do with that what you will.
me: Yeah, so, you’re devouring blue Jello. I don’t think you’re supposed to bite it. It’s Jello. It’s slurpity fun.
Bear: (garbled) I’m not sure whether to chew it or swallow it.
me: Smush it, and then swallow it. It’s a skill. Have I not taught you how to eat Jello?! This is bad! You’re gonna go to college and you’re not gonna know how to do Jello shots.
Bear: Jello shots?
me: Just kidding, ask your dad. Okay, first question. What’s something this month that’s made you feel grateful?
Bear: Cee Cee was born.
me: Name something you want to accomplish in 2017.
Bear: Graduate fifth grade with all As all year.
me: That’s a big goal. Now this is just for fun: polka dots, stripes, or solids?
Bear: Polka dots!
me: Tell me…what do you think is something important in the world right now?
Bear: Being thankful.
me: It’s important to be thankful. So, with current events, what do you think is happening in the world right now that’s pretty important?
Bear: Trump is already screwing up our relationship with China and he hasn’t even been in the White House yet.
me: O-kay. Well, the next question’s gonna be a little tricky then. How do you think that kids can influence that?
me: Hmm. Do you have any ideas for how to do that?
Bear: Well, there’s this group of kids that was protesting so I think we could do that in our school. And then we could start going around the states and doing that.
me: Neat. What’s the last thing you saw or read that had adoption in the story?
Bear: Well, I read that little book, Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born. I read that all the time.
me: Oh, do you? I loved that book. I didn’t know you still read it.
Bear: I always read it.
me: Yeah? What does it make you think about, or how does it make you feel when you read it?
me: I like that book, too. So now I’m going to ask you about what you think about the world from different perspectives. How do you see the world as a person of color?
Bear: It’s a place that needs to improve.
me: How would you like to see it improve?
Bear: People shouldn’t look at you and judge you by your skin color.
me: Totally true. So how do you see the world as a girl?
Bear: Some people don’t think that we can do as much as guys can, but I think they can.
me: Do you find that even where you are now? Even elementary school?
me: You see it in older people? (Bear nods.) Okay. What is one thing you’d like to see changed by the time you have your own kids?
Bear: Women empowerment.
me: What would be a good example of that? Something you would love to see.
Bear: Hillary be the president instead of Trump.
me: Okay, but I don’t think we can do that ’cause that ship has sailed. So that’s something you’d like to see before you have your own kids? Women in power like a female president?
me: Alright. I’d love to see that, too.
me: Time for Flip the Interview! You got one question.
Bear: One question…If we were to get a third dog, what kind of dog would you want it to be and what would you name it?…A black lab named Brownie?!
me: Hmmm…I think it couldn’t be one of those tiny dogs ’cause then it would get trampled in the house. It needs to be big enough to hold its own with Gracie and Phoebe. I do love a lab.
Bear: Black labs are my favorites.
me: They’re so sweet and smart and loyal…
Bear: What would you name it?
me: Hard to say. How ’bout if we named it –
me: Pepper’s a great name. I like it. You can name it Oreo for fun, but Pepper, you could yell that out the back door. That’s a good test for a dog name.
Bear: And why you don’t name your dog supercalifragilisticexpialodocious.
me: Right. Or Wiener.
me: Just sayin. All right, another successful interview. Good times.