You know, lately our meals at the table had become almost non-existent. It seems the older kids would come in from school, grab a snack (or a plate of food) and head to their rooms. I make *dinner* early a lot of days because that is when they are most hungry and it just makes sense to have a meal ready in the early afternoon rather than later when they've already scarfed down a plate of food only an hour or two before.
So anyway, in our larger family activities are constant and it seemed like family meals were becoming a thing of the past. And then….we got our carpets cleaned. I planted my feet firmly and said, "No more food in your rooms, in the living room or anywhere but the kitchen!" That gives them two options; kitchen table or kitchen counter/bar.
At first they fought it, but I think they are coming around. I'm enjoying a talkative breakfast with my two younger kids before starting on their home school for the day.
When the two older ones get home, I actually get to talk to them about how their day went…and they pay attention because they're stuck there if they want to eat!
Meals around the table are becoming the norm again…and personally, I think they like it. The conversation alone is something worth sitting there for! They go something like this:
"So how were swim lessons today?"
"It was fun!"
"So, was the chicken, star, rocket really as hard as it looked?"
"I kept mixing the chicken and the star wrong."
"What is the chicken, star, rocket?"
"It's the breast stroke."
"Well, when I took lessons it was monkey, banana, tree!"
"What about the frog thing?"
"Oh, the dolphin was hard."
"You mean the porpoise?"
"What's with all the animals anyway?"
And that's just a snippet of one conversation! Usually there are at least two conversations going on at once and they can get quite confusing, especially if you're part of one and then forget who you are talking to! All of a sudden the table is roaring with laughter because someone will say something that makes absolutely no sense because they've combined the conversations! You've got to be able to keep up at our table!
We're having fun again. I hope they'll remember our laughter around the table when they get older. It's really these moments that are priceless.