The girls backed out of the driveway and Gideon and I were suddenly left alone at the dinner table in a quiet house. I glanced back and forth at the stacks of dishes left behind as Andrea and the girls rushed to finish eating so they could leave in time for their movie. I slouched in my chair and looked back at my son. He was wiping a smear of tomato sauce around on his face.

“Well, Gidbot… how should we clean up this mess?”

He explored his chin with his tongue and his eyes rolled back in his head thoughtfully. “Oh… It’s a really big mess.”


But then his face lit up with inspiration. “Oh! I have an idea!”

“What’s that?”

“We could do it this way. Wait until the girls come back and then they can do it!”

I quickly took a drink from my water glass to keep from laughing. “Yes. That’s tempting. But then we couldn’t really call ourselves men anymore, could we?”

He considered this, then he picked up his plate and resolutely started carrying it towards the sink.