‘We WILL eat at the table tonight!’
In my house I am made to feel like the biggest nag in the world suggesting a family dinner round the table – by all 5 of my men! My two eldest tell me that ‘it’s boring’ sitting at the table. My 4 year old contests just because that seems the thing to do and hey, if his big brothers are saying it then it must be right. My littlest runs away at a pace I actually struggle to keep up with when I try to strap him into his high chair. And my husband who should be backing me up moans and tells me he needs a ‘sofa dinner’ after his hard day at work!
So, after days of telling them prior to dinner that it was a civilised meal round the table tonight, I took them by surprise and gave them no advanced warning. ‘It doesn’t take a genius to work out that tactic’ I can hear you saying! Well, you would be right, but trust me, when you are running around a kitchen cooking for 6, playing mediator when 2 boys want to be Luigi on wii Mario and another is jumping on their heads (again on wii Mario I stress to add) and you have a 1 year old who thinks it’s fun to bash the cat on the head with a wooden spoon, a logical answer doesn’t always present itself.
Anyway, after the expected objections (mainly from my husband), we all sat down to enjoy a nice family dinner. My eldest told us about the cross country competition he wants to do at school next week and how lots of the kids in his class are getting crushes on each. My 6 year old told us that he had salmon fish fingers for lunch (why will he eat salmon at school at not for me?!?) and how one of the boys from his class took his pants off when they got changed for pe – the funniest part of the day apparently! My 4 year old told us that he got a cookie for pudding at school and that all the kids in the ‘fun house’ (his brother’s name for reception) say ‘poo’ all the time . My 1 year old giggled lots and kept repeating words that his brothers were saying, feeling chuffed to bits with himself when we all cheered him on. My husband listened to them all and seemed to forget how tired he was from his hard day at work. I shouted at them when they started a food fight with their spaghetti. I played facilitator when they all tried to talk at once. I reprimanded my 1 year old when he tried to feed his broccoli to the cats. It was noisy and it was messy but I loved it.
There will be the nights when the boys eat chicken nuggets and chips in front of Phineas and Ferb. Every other Friday night will always be fish and chip night in front of a movie. But 5 nights out of 7 I now pledge that I will by hook or by crook get my boys round the table for a nice family dinner (I may even get better at cooking if they are really lucky!) They say that the dinner table is the heart of family life and I wholeheartedly agree with this.