Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The Family Table my Backside!

I figured I should not title a blog post with a swear word.

I assume you have all watched those lovely commercials that encourage families to sit down and have heartwarming dinners together? Sit down! Have dinner! Communicate! Review your day! Debate hot topics! Share your thoughts, feelings and hopes for the future! It'll be great and all the world will be rosy.

Someone please tell me what I am doing wrong.

Without fail, the S Family sits down to dinner together every night. Most days we eat outside at the FABULOUS new picnic table on our deck, lovingly built for us by Baba. I cook healthy meals, packed with fresh veggies and whole grains. I love to try new recipes and am teaching myself to prepare dishes that I know Jesse and the kids will love, despite the fact that I am not crazy about them (read: anything that includes fish).

So what am I doing wrong?

Read, if you will, the following excerpt from a typical S Family dinner table.

Cherith, "Let's pray."

Nathan, "I have to go poop!"

Isaac, "Ha ah aha hahahahahha!! Nathan said poop!"

Jesse and/or Cherith, "You can poop after dinner Nathan, we are going to pray now."

Nathan, "I have to go poop now! I really do!"

Isaac, "Ha ah aha hahahahahha!! Nathan said poop!"

Cherith and/or Jesse, "Nathan you do this every night and every night we tell you that you need to poop before dinner. You can wait."

Nathan, "I have to poop NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Isaac, "Ha ah aha hahahahahha!! Nathan said poop!"

Jesse and or Cherith, "Isaac, stop it! Fine Nathan, go poop and then get back here so we can pray and eat dinner."

Jesse, "Anna stop throwing food, you are going to sit in your high chair while mommy and daddy eat."

Cherith, "Nathan, hurry up!"

Isaac, "I don't like this! I'm not eating it!"

Cherith and/or Jesse, "You liked it when we had it last week, it is the same food. Please eat your dinner."

Isaac, "Can I have some catsup/dip/butter?"

Cherith and/or Jesse, "No Isaac you already have enough catsup/dip/butter."

Nathan, "Mommy I'm done! Come wipe me!"

pause....all return to the table

Cherith, "Let's pray."

Jesse prays.

Cherith, "Amen."

Isaac, "Amen."

Nathan, "Elephant!"

Isaac, "AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!! Nathan said elephant instead of amen!!"

Anna, while vigorously shaking head, "MUMUMUMUMUMUMUMU!!!!!!!!!" (Loosely translated, this means GET ME OUT OF THIS DAMN CHAIR NOW!!!!"

Cherith and/or Jesse, "No Anna, you need to eat your food. Mommy and daddy are going to have dinner now, you sit until we are done. Isaac stop laughing at your brother and Nathan, quit being so goofy."

Isaac, "I don't like this! I'm not eating it!"

Cherith and/or Jesse, "Isaac we already discussed this, eat your dinner."

Isaac, "Can I have some catsup/dip/butter?"

Cherith and/or Jesse, "No Isaac you already have enough catsup/dip/butter."

Isaac, "Can I have some more chocolate milk?"

Cherith and/or Jesse, "No Isaac you only get one cup of milk, you can have some water."

Nathan,"I'm done!"

Jesse and/or Cherith, "Nathan you only ate 2 bites. You need to eat your dinner, this is the last food today. No snack before bed and/or no dessert unless you eat more of your dinner."

Nathan, "How many bites do I have to take?"

Jesse and/or Cherith, "Nathan, please just eat your dinner."

Nathan, "How many bites?"

Jesse and or Cherith, "Ok, 2 bites of meat and 4 bites of veggie."

Isaac, "I love this now! This is my favorite food ever!"

Cherith, "That's nice Isaac, I am glad you like it. Please remember what you just said when I make it again next week."

Jesse and/or Cherith, "Nathan get off of the floor, sit in your chair and eat your dinner."

Isaac, "Here Anna, you can have this."

Jesse, "No Isaac! She will just throw it.....!"

Pause in conversation, frantic cleaning of unwisely purchased beige upholstery.

Jesse, "Isaac, thank you for trying to share, but please do not give Anna anymore food, she just throws it around."


Jesse and/or Cherith, "No Anna, you stay in your chair until mommy and daddy are done with our dinner.

Anna, "mumumumumumumumumdadadadadadadadad dadoooooo dadooooo dadoooo"

Isaac, "Look daddy, Anna smeared guacamole in her hair, all over her arms and onto her clothes."

Jesse with heavy sigh, "Yes Isaac, we see."

Cherith, "Nathan get off of the floor and eat your dinner!"

Nathan, "I'M DONE!!"

Cherith, "One more bite of veggie."

Nathan eats bite and takes off running.

Cherith, "Nathan, come back here, sit in your chair and ask to be excused."

Nathan sulks back to the table.

Nathan, "Can I please be excused?"

Cherith, "Yes Nathan, go play."

Isaac bolts from the table.

Jesse, "Isaac come back and ask to be excused."

Isaac, "I am not done yet, I will come back later and finish."

Cherith and/or Jesse, "No Isaac, when you leave the table your are finished eating. If you want to eat more, come back now."

Isaac sulks back to table.

Isaac, "Can I eat Nathan's food that he doesn't want?"

Jesse and/or Cherith, "No Isaac, you have plenty. You can have more vegetable/whole grain/low fat protein if you are still hungry."

Isaac, while bolting from the table, "I'M DONE!"

Jesse, "Isaac come back and ask to be excused."

Isaac sulks back to table.

Isaac, "Can I please be excused."


Jesse, "Yes Isaac you can go now."

Cherith and/or Jesse, "I'll do the dishes and clean the kitchen if you clean up Anna."

Thus endith a typical S Family dinner.

Having read this, can someone now please tell me WHAT THE HELL I AM DOING WRONG???

The very next time I see one of those commercials I am going to hurl the lengthy list of interesting current events I was planning to discuss at our heartwarming family table at the TV.


Jesse said...

HA HA HA HA!!! THAT'S SO FUNNY!!!! (because it's true)... Although, hon, you forgot the part where Nathan and/or Isaac comes back to us in the next 15 minutes telling us they're hungry and when is dinner? When we respond that we've already eaten dinner, they break into their melodrama saying how hungry they are and how starving they are. And then, of course, the inevitable question: "What's for desert?"

Cherith said...

I dunno what you are talking about honey, neither of the boys has EVER walked up to me 15 minutes after dinner and asked me about a huge, dry, typically sand covered plot of land. ;P

Jesse said...

HEY! Gimme a break - I'm a HEART PATIENT!!!!

Besides, remember the picture caption that was originally written "little angles"? hmmm?


Cherith said...

I am SO sorry my darling husband; I had no idea that congenital heart defects impede one's ability to spell common words.

Much apologies, do forgive.

(Yes Esther, we ARE sitting next to each other on the couch, leaving comments back and forth. If you had just suffered through a dinner like that, wouldn't YOU be in the mood to avoid all human contact?)

Beverly said...

Well I think Jesus understands and is probably laughing too.


Davis Family said...

I'm shocked. Appalled actually.
Here you have a terrific friend--someone you can actually use as a fine role model for all things mothering. She's among the BEST and yet....I see nothing hear about children pitching dinner rolls the length of the table.

Truly--there is a need here for much more training.

Love ya ;-)