Belly Meal

My wife had to go to Texas a while back, leaving me flying solo with the kids for a few days. Though the three of us get along fine, things do sometimes get a little bizarre.

One night, as I was making grilled cheese sandwiches in the kitchen, N ran out of his room without any shirt on.

“Where is your shirt?” I asked.

N was 3 years old at the time. He held his hands up over his head and stuck his belly out at me. “I lost it!”

“Okay, okay, go get your shirt on.”


“Because we wear shirts, that’s why. We don’t just sit around with our bellies hanging out.”

“Why not?”

His older brother walked out, shirtless and carrying a truck. “Yeah, why not?”

“Because,” I fumbled. “Because your momma doesn’t like it.” Hey, I know it was lame, but I couldn’t think of anything else.

The three year old gave an exaggerated look around the room and then turned back to me. “Hm,” he said. “No Momma!”

His older brother nodded seriously. “Yep, there’s no Momma here. She’s in Texas.”

Aw, what the heck, I thought. I pulled my shirt off over my head and tossed it on the floor. “It’s a belly meal!”

“Hooray!” they shouted.

Flash forward to dinner time the day after Momma had returned. When I called the boys for dinner, they ran out of their room, pulling their shirts off over their heads, staggering and stumbling as they tried to run and take their shirts off at the same time. “Belly meal, Daddy! Belly meal!”


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