Funny you should ask, really. I was actually raised by all three. Family dinners, as you might imagine, were a nightmare.
“Dinner is served,” squawked my mum, heaving a slab of raw meat onto the dining table. “Merry Christmas.”
There was the usual silence. A pause. A strained smile from my dad. “It looks … succulent,” he said. “Let’s dig in.”
Instantly my mum tore into the strips of meat with hooked claw wings, and the room filled with the sounds of her grinding her beak and swallowing. My robrother and I stared at the meal.
“You know, it’s good to have you all back home,” said my dad, half-shouting over the noise. He had taken on a friendly-looking human form for the dinner. He only ever revealed his true form when he was really angry. Like the time he found my robrother shut down, lying next to three empty bottles of fuel ethanol. “The family back together again,” he said after we didn’t reply, “just like we’re supposed to be. You know, I know we don’t see each other often. And I know I’m often away. But I want us to be together as often as possible. I just want you guys to know that ultimately, everything I do I do for you guys, so that when we’re together –“
A phone rang, an odd series of unnatural beeps and buzzes. My mum stopped eating. The ringtone again: my dad winced. “Ooooh,” he said, “I gotta take this one guys, sorry. Important business. Gotta keep the meat on the table, eh?” He teleported away, his fork clattering to the floor. Probably off to CX-419, a planetoid in the Centauri system. I glanced at my robrother. We both knew what ‘business’ probably meant at a time like this. Some exotic four-headed female life-form.
Another silence. I took out my phone, my other hand forking a slab of meat dejectedly. Another silence.
“Texting your boyfriend again?” mum squawked, taking her bitterness at my dad out on me. It always amazed me how much condescension she could convey without vocal cords. “Phones at dinner, always. Why can’t we just have a simple conversation, Celia?”