I’ve been away on hols, and I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t give this blog a second's thought. But I also resolved that there could be no half measures, and so, hard as it was, I managed to stick to a no-blogging rule. That said, some things cried out to be shared.

Like a delightful moment during a delightful visit to friends in rural Vermont. The family is possessed of a lovely young son who is about three years old and a self-possesed and quite serious young person. One evening, at dinner, things were a bit hectic. Jack, for that is his name, sat expectantly at the table, waiting for his dinner of chicken and broccoli, which his mother duly placed before him.

I sat, as expectantly, opposite Jack. But something came up, I can’t remember what, and Jack’s mother was distracted for a couple of minutes.

As we sat there, I expected Jack, who had said he was hungry, to simply begin eating. Instead, he picked up a piece of broccoli and calmly dropped it to the floor beside him. Then he did it again.

The Squeeze sat down next to me. Jack glanced up, lifted another floret, and dropped that too. As she opened her mouth I signaled that we should notice nothing, say nothing.

The distraction dealt with, Jack’s mother placed our plates in front of us (also chicken and broccoli and very, very good) and sat down with her own dinner next to Jack. She took one look at his plate and did what any mother would do.

“Oh Jack, what a good boy. You’ve eaten all your broccoli.”

I ratted him out.

“No he hasn't. He's dumped it all on the floor next to him.”

“Oh well” was all she said before she turned to her own meal, and that was that.

Exemplary, I thought. No fuss, no attention, no inappropriate rewards.

Jack ate a bit of chicken and asked politely whether he could get down from the table, which he did. Then, still obviously offended by its very presence, he proceeded to stuff every last bit of broccoli down the heating vent on the floor.

Again, Jack’s mother said nothing, and Jack went off to finish watching Turandot.

So, hats off to Jack and his parents for a truly wonderful and very entertaining visit.

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