Friday, January 9, 2009

Manners….are they over rated?

We like to sit down and eat dinner together. Some nights are more challenging than others.

Tonight we had "one of those nights".

We have been working a considerable amount of time (like for the past 13 years) on table manners.

Yeah, I know what a bore! I get so weary of this particular training.

So weary!

My boys, all though very intelligent in so many ways, seem to be slow learners in this area!

One of my sons is what I would classify as a "shoveler". To describe how he scrunches way down in his seat and leaves not even an inch between his mouth and his plate to pile the food directly into the "pie hole" is simply repugnant to his mother!

And my other son is equally as gifted in stuffing food in the mouth until the expansion of his cheeks is so great that you can practically see every morsel as he gulps it down the hatch.

It's just a total turn off.

Well, tonight as we were eating our spaghetti it was apparent that my sweet sons, whom I have loved from the womb, had thrown every single manner away in their piles of spaghetti.

They were shoveling and stuffing at great speeds and frankly having a wonderful time of it!

When I see them having so much fun flinging food around, chewing lettuce leaves like animals, and slopping up the table, I am driven to say something really intelligent like…

"You need to stop that right now, You weren't raised in a barn".

To which they reply, "what exactly do you mean by that mom?" And after my brief, dictionary explanation, as to what that means they continue with the food fest!

They were laughing and talking and becoming increasingly elevated in their noise level.

By this time we had moved on to our dessert which was in hot debate whether it was pronounced "sherbert"," Sherbet", or "Sorbet".

My patient husband, for some reason, was equally as disturbed as I by the fierceness in which they were consuming the food, and where it was landing.

He was not pleased.

His face became somewhat visibly contorted as he, in a very stern way, reprimanded the entire table for the unconsciousness in which people were eating, talking with full mouths, and flinging food.

The entire conversation stopped cold.


Until one of the boys whispered, "It's quiet".

And than J said, "There, I guess I took care of that"!

And I started shaking from laughter until I had laugh tears streaming down my face.

He too started laughing and the children all begin laughing and sighing with relief!

At that moment I may or may not have reached up and scratched an itch under my arm.

My "shoveler" son, said, "Hey mom, better not scratch your arm pit at the table, People may ask if you were raised in a rain forest".

To which the whole table erupted in monkey noises, and armpit monkey gestures.

Laughing tears were streaming down my face.

All in all, I know table manners aren't the most important thing in life.

I'm not giving up though! I will have these boys trained one day.

After all, I don't want their wives to look at me Someday and say,

"Did you raise him in a barn"?


  1. LOL, you had me in tears! great story!Sounds like my barnyard!

  2. Oh this all sounds so totally familar!!! Great story Rose, told so very well. I can just hear your sweet, contagious laugh.

  3. O.K., O.K., I read your blog too once in a while. There, now you know I'm a girl! Don't you just love the boys and their zest for food and life? It's freaking awesome! You had me at "spaghetti".

  4. That is hilarious! I love the rainforest comment! The males in your family should follow the example of another family (with many boys)at church and take their shirts off while eating spaghetti. Then you could just hose them down!

  5. love, love, LOVE laughter at tense moments!!

    And I must admit that your son's "rainforest" comment was pretty clever...he's a smart one! I would have been CRACKING up!

    I'm sure if you ask Malaina there were PLENTY of times when I was teaching that something would happen that wasn't suppose to be funny (especially to the teacher) and I definitely could not hold back the giggles. It was always fun to see the kids look at me like I was nuts, and then burst into fits of giggles too!!!!


    PS. Thanks for the photo info!!! Ha!!!

  6. Ok, now I have "laugh tears" streaming down my cheeks! I really wish that this didn't sound so familiar.

    Diane Y.

  7. This was a great night for me to read this story. My oldest son (5) is in his room right now crying because of the events at our dinner table this evening.

    You described the sequence of events so well I could feel the tension and then I, too, burst out in laughter with the rain forest comment. Kids!!

  8. Thank goodness for humor in life! I think most of our kids save their manner for when they are away from home!

    I enjoyed checking out a few of your posts-I loved the picture of you and your husband sharing spaghetti! Very sweet!

    Thank you for stopping by my blog! I look forward to getting to know you better!

  9. That is so funny. I often wonder if I'm choosing the right things to focus on. I'm pretty sure that if your boys haven't paid attention yet, they may not. BUT, they WILL know how to laugh with their families while eating like pigs. That's what really matters :)

  10. oh Heather....You make me panic! You really don't think they'll ever get it?

  11. Rose this post brought back SO many memories of growing up years at the dinner table. My mom and dad worked so hard to get Brad (twin brother) to use his manners. (I never had the problem, I was too busy being the perfect child :)) I think I will have my work cut out for me, Logan likes to eat his applesauce with his fingers when I am not looking. ugh! :)

  12. That last comment was me Rose, I forgot to sign out of our email account


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