Alex · My Family

The Purpose of a French Fry

I brought Alex to his doctor's office after work today to get his flu shot. We were in and out pretty quickly, and Alex recovered from the insult of being jabbed in the leg for no apparent reason.

We went to McDonald's on the way home and I got him a Happy Meal. Yes, I did. I've never done that before, but I just felt like it tonight. And got one of their little soft-serve hot fudge sundaes, too.

We came home and Alex rounded up the various rubber and plastic balls that are his most prized possessions and started throwing them down the basement stairs – his favorite pastime. I managed to get his coat off and once most of the balls were out of reach, I picked him up and put him in his high chair and opened the paper bags.

He wanted nothing to do with the cheeseburger. So I ate that. I gave him a few fries and a little dish of ketchup. Aaaahhh.

He held a fry carefully in each hand. He didn't do much with the one in his right hand. But with his left hand he would balance the fry between his little thumb and forefinger and awkwardly dunk the bit of fry and most of his thumb into the ketchup. Then he would bring his hand up to his mouth and clean the ketchup off the french fry…and maybe a little bit of the fry as well. Then back into the ketchup.

It went on this way through several french fries (except the one in his right hand), until he was finished. He held out the uneaten pieces of fry to me ("thank you!") when he was finished with them, and I took them and tossed them into the trash. I turned back, and he was a ketchupy mess. Red all over his chin, the palms of his hands – very little was left in the dish.


He grinned at me.

3 thoughts on “The Purpose of a French Fry

  1. What is it about fries? And ketchup? My son Ethan (4 2/3) still likes them better than just about anything, and I have little doubt that Gavin (1) will be much different.

    Me, I like salsa (medium or hotter) with my fries nowadays.

    Kids are the whole reward for growing up, aren’t they?

  2. My sister and I used to eat fries with salt and pepper and mayo late at night after work when we still lived at home…I also liked a blend of mayo and ketchup. Or vinegar…

    And yes – you’re right about the reward part…I feel like I’ve done something right with my life if Alex is any indication.

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