Tonight we all went out to eat at Artuzi’s, which is a quick Italian place nearby. I ordered Claire her own kid-sized penne with pomodoro sauce, because she had enjoyed that in the past when Claire and I ate here with my parents. I could tell Kit was somewhat skeptical about this potentially messy choice, but she did not veto it.
Sitting in the booth next to Kit, Claire initially tried to eat her penne with a fork. But after having the pasta slip off her fork a few times, Claire resorted to using her hands, which quickly became coated in the deep red, oily tomato sauce. At this point, Kit become nervous of Claire ruining her nice sweater shirt, which she was still wearing from work, so she sent Claire to sit next to me across the table from her.
Claire’s messy hands did not bother me, especially since I was not wearing anything fancy, just a t-shirt. This disinterest ended suddenly when Claire reached over and grabbed my white t-shirt with her left hand, leaving five little red dots on my right sleeve, one for each finger. As I recoiled from this intrusion, Claire reached quickly to my front with her right hand, to complete the hugging motion (or pincer movement, depending on how you look at it), leaving five more little red dots on the front of my t-shirt.
At this point, I was a little amused and agitated at the same time. Kit was just laughing. I did manage to lean away from Claire just far enough to keep out of reach of any further tomato sauce attacks. Claire thought it was funny that I was just out of reach and started swinging for me with her little hands, giggling the whole time through her sauce-coated face. “I want to hug Daddy! Hug Daddy! Huuuug!” she said, with a goofy smile on her face. At this point, it was clear that Claire was just having fun and had managed to make a genuine joke out of the situation.
The only real victim of this whole story was, of course, my t-shirt. But don’t worry about the shirt. It made an amazing recovery thanks to some quick on-the-scene dabbing, as directed by Kit, and some liberal use of stain stick later at home.