“From now on we’re sitting at the table with the kids for every meal,” Tracey told me this week.
At this point I was standing at the bench in the kitchen reading a book and taking an occasional mouthful of spag bog while my kids fended for themselves at the dining table behind me.
This revolution in parenting has come about because Tracey went to a pamper party with Miss7 which included, after getting hair and nails done, a rather nice lunch at a rather nice establishment.
“She was feral,” said my wife. “She was eating like a dog. She was using her fingers!”
“Dog’s don’t have fingers,” I said. And then, when Tracey didn’t so much as smile, I added, “I’m sure she wasn’t that bad.”
“Our kids need more guidance at the table,” said Tracey.
“They’re fine,” I pushed.
The reason we haven’t been sitting down with the kids for every meal is the lack of chairs at the inside table. The dining set we purchased is lovely, but the workmanship leaves something to be desired, with screws popping out regularly and bits breaking. We’ve gone from eight chairs to five in a matter of a few years. But that aside, I confess I’ve been enjoying the informality of being able to continue whatever I’m doing while shoving food in my mouth. And in truth, I was keen for this to continue.
Tracey motioned for me to turn and check out the kids. At that very moment Miss2 had a hand on either side of her bowl and her face planted fully in it. A few seconds later she lifted her head – her face was orange and there was pasta in her hair.
“It’s okay,” I said soothingly to Tracey, feeling my meal time me-time slipping irretrievably away. “She hasn’t had a bath yet.”
So we’re sitting at the table with the kids from now on (on mismatched chairs from around the house) to supervise every mouthful and damn well make sure they know the difference between a soup spoon and a dessert spoon, even if it means having to introduce desserts into our menu.
And I must confess we’ve already noticed some huge improvements.
“May I be excused to go fart?” Miss10 said tonight, just like a proper little lady.
Yessiree, I is predicting the fancy folk of this here town are gonna be mighty impressed at the next pamper party our girls attend 😉
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“Raising a family on little more than laughs.”