A few weeks ago friends invited me to dinner. Their daughter and grandchildren were staying for the weekend.
The younger generation were attended to by the women in the family room at one end of the house whilst I was instructed to stay in the living room at the other end. I was somewhat disappointed - without my own grandchildren I enjoy any chance to be involved with other people's. My suggestion that we all dine together was promptly dismissed on the basis that the living room would be quieter.
That proved to be the case as there was a constant stream of loud demands from the grandchildren as to what they were prepared to eat and the manner in which their food was to be consumed. On several occasions my friend (grandfather) stormed down the passage way to the family room demanding silence and that the grandchildren behave!
At the time I just thought this was pretty much normal behaviour.
A couple of weeks later I was invited back for dinner - without the grandchildren. My friends wife was out in the afternoon so he and I prepared dinner.
I was assigned to the preparation of the vegetables - which included the carrots. I was amused by my friends instructions that I must cut them in very fine strips in order to satisfy his wife's "standards". Initially I thought my friend was joking, but after a bit of banter as to who wore the pants in his family, I came to realize that he was not joking - I diligently applied myself to preparing the finest cut carrots of all time!
The three of us enjoyed a very pleasant meal complemented with a few glasses of red wine. Conversation covered a broad range of topics, including the protocols about grandparenting.
I then noticed that my friends wife hadn't eaten her carrots! I was aghast - more so when she explained the reason for not eating them was that they were too thick!
I was nonplussed until it dawned on me that there was now a very obvious explanation for the grandchildrens fussy and demanding eating behaviour.
The only difference on this occasion was that my friend kept his silence.
I left without saying a word.
I suspect however, that I was the only person to recognize the familys behavioural connection?