Yesterday evening my father and stepmother hosted a dinner for us and two of their friends. Pacific northwest dry-smoked salmon, lobster risotto, rack of lamb, mozzarella, basil and the last of this year's garden tomatoes, some excellent Washington wine: it was a true feast. Le Petit raced around the house during the appetizers, stopping at my feet every once in a while to be picked up and join the grown-ups' conversation.
We gave him a taste of the smoked salmon and he was hooked. He reached for the tray with an insistent "aaaahhhh!" as I distractedly held him back.
"I don't know what you want!" I told him and everyone laughed.
"I think it is pretty clear what he wants," my husband corrected, so I gave in and gave le Petit another bite which he gobbled up.
"Must be his northwest genes expressing themselves," commented one of the guests. I had to admit, as annoyed as I was that he kept me from eating any salmon myself, I was pretty proud of him.
Le Petit sat attentively and patiently in his high chair through the first part of dinner, which much impressed my father and stepmother. Unusual for a 15-month-old was their take, and my husband was filled with fatherly pride.
"There's no bigger compliment for a French child," he told me later, "Than being told they know how to stay patiently seated at the table."
Le Petit has a refined palate and excellent table manners. As with so much else, I am wary of giving myself any credit.