It’s not hard to come across a study that touts the benefits of a family dinner alongside some statistics about how few families actually sit down to a family dinner regularly anymore.
I am not going to talk about that, because, heck, we’ve all heard that. And it’s getting a little judgmental and grating for my liking. Instead, I would like to share with you some of the things my girls have learned while sitting at the dinner table.
- turning your plate upside down gets all the food off of it
- turning your plate upside down makes Mommy and Daddy upset
- turning your plate upside attracts the interest of our dog
- forks are best for skewering food, while spoons are meant for scooping
- putting a spoon in the mouth with food side up prevents food from spilling all over
- dangling meat over the side of the high chair attracts the dog
- dangling slices of cucumber over the side of the high chair attracts no one
- if you drop your sippy cup, someone will pick it up
- if you drop your sippy cup again, someone will pick it up and put it across the table from you
- Mommy cannot shell pistachios as quick as little girls can eat them
- LITTLE GIRLS DO NOT TOUCH KNIVES
- you cannot sweet talk your way out of eating vegetables to get dessert
- you have to ask to be excused from the table before getting down, otherwise no one will move your high chair away from the table and your big toddler head will get stuck
- we don’t stab family members with our forks
- Mommy’s coffee is off limits
- hold smoothie cups DOWN to finish the last few sips
- DON’T TALK WITH FOOD IN YOUR MOUTH
- Alternately: DON’T TALK TO SOMEONE WHO HAS FOOD IN THEIR MOUTH (or at least Madeline seems to think this is true)
- Wait to eat your meal until we pray for your food, otherwise Daddy is liable to move your plate across the table until after we pray
- Bruno will eat almost anything you don’t finish, except, of course, cucumber slices
I find that the dinner table (or more often the breakfast table) is the best time to teach these very important life lessons that will serve my girls well in their lives.