“Hi, honey. I just left the office, which means I’m running late for dinner, so what would you and the kids like me to pick up on my way home?”
“Oooh, I was really looking forward to a good home-cooked meal tonight.”
“I’m sorry, but there’s no way I have time to make anything at this hour.”
“Not even a quick stir-fry? I’ve been eating out all week and I don’t think my heart can take much more of it.”
Mom tried really hard not to give in, but Dad had had a weak heart for a while now and he knew it was his ticket to getting what he wanted. It didn’t help that he was right – eating out did tend to mean getting more salt and fewer veggies than he would get with homemade food, and that wasn’t good for his heart.
“I don’t have the time, sweetheart. I’m just now leaving the office, and you know it’s going to take me almost an hour to get home from here. By the time I stop at the store and get everything ready, it will be after 8 o’clock by the time we eat.” That was almost bedtime for their two youngest offspring, and Mom herself hated eating too close to bedtime because she had noticed a direct correlation between late dinners and the muffin-top developing around her middle.
“I’ll go to the store. I’m already home, so I can just pop over and get whatever you need.”
Mom sighed, trying not to give in even as she felt herself giving in.
“You’ll have to chop everything.”
“That’s fine. I can chop. I just don’t know what all you put in the pan to make that wonderful sauce – I mean, aside from love.”
It was a teriyaki sauce straight out the bottle, but Mom wasn’t about to give away that little secret of hers. “That’s fine. Just make sure everything is on the counter, chopped and ready to go by the time I get home. I can take care of the rest in about 20 minutes or so.”
“And you’d better have a glass of wine poured for me by the time I get home. A big glass.”