Tuesday, October 7, 2014

In Support of the Family Dinner

I'm sure you've all read about the various positive effects of sitting down to dinner as a family, right? Smarter kids! Better-behaved kids! Non-stoned kids!

Seriously. I heard a radio commercial awhile ago where they got some college student to talk about how sitting down to eat with his family when he was younger meant that he didn't drink as much as his fellow students.

Sure, kid.


I myself am a big advocate of sitting down as a family, but for one simple reason: It's the only way to keep my sons from behaving like complete beasts.

On a normal night, all three adults and the two children sit down around 6 p.m. and eat dinner. Mostly the adults talk, with many interruptions by loquacious Cubby and occasional random and semi-intelligible comments from Charlie. The adults eat. The children eat. I do my fair share of nagging, but it's much, much less than when I am forced to eat with the children by myself.

God help me.

On the nights when the MiL has a meeting or whatever and A. has night court, the children sit down with me and proceed to engage in their own form of dinner conversation. This is never very sophisticated. Tonight's conversation included the endless repetition of the "button" game, during which one child says "Daddy button" or "Mommy button" or whoever button and the other one repeats it and laughs hysterically.

I don't know either.

They bubble their milk. They menace with forks. They blow tunes into their penne pasta. In short, they behave abominably.

They do not do this when other adults are present, so obviously I am not the civilizing influence here. There must be more than one adult at the table; I suppose because then they have an example of how a rational, polite person behaves while eating and interacting with other people.

And this is why I will always, always champion the family dinner, as long as A. is around to eat with us. Otherwise, I may as well throw all the food into a trough and let the children dive in.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Worth Waiting For

Due to many incredibly boring computer issues, I haven't been accessing the photos on my camera. However, I finally sat down and figured out how to get the photos off my memory card and on to A.'s weird Chromebook (they don't run on Windows, so everything is very different). And what a good thing I did, because just look what I was saving for you!

This one time when I decided to get all Pinterest-y with a tea party I had with the children on a rainy and grumpy-boring morning:


Personally, I find food faces to be frightening, but I was just trying to get them to eat lunch without any drama. Actually, as I recall, what I was really trying to do was get them to come inside for lunch without any drama because we had been outside for two hours on a very damp, cold morning playing with rubber worms in the shed and I was SO OVER IT. So I lured them in with the promise of a tea party (always a popular activity around here) AND a special snack to go with their tea.

Hence, the freaky food face. They loved it, though.

They also, as always, loved their tea. Cubby has the exclusive use of an individual-sized tea pot plus a small sugar bowl and tiny cream pitcher* so he can pour and mix up his own tea.

Pretty sure the sugar bowl is the main attraction, even if it does only have about two teaspoons of sugar in it because I am a Mean Mom.

Charlie hasn't yet caught on that he doesn't get all the fun accouterments. As long as he has his delicate teacup and saucer, plus a spoon for stirring, he's cool.

He prefers the rose-patterned tea set, but will accept the butterflies if necessary.

I always laugh when I see pictures of other kids "playing" tea party. I can just imagine Cubby and Charlie's reaction to little plastic cups with no actual tea. It would not be well received.

There! Aren't you glad I finally figured out how to get some pictures on here? I know I just made your Monday. You're welcome.

* The MiL tends to collect these sorts of things, which is why we have them. They weren't purchased specifically for Cubby or anything, although he certainly considers them his personal property by now.