Our home doesn’t appear to me to resemble a barn, but somehow our mealtime manners might lead people to believe that we live in one. I’m not planning to start doing anything radical, such as requiring you to use a tablecloth and cloth napkins, but please take note of the following mealtime manners reminder.
- The silver things next to your plate are called silverware or eating utensils. You may call them either name, whichever makes you feel better about actually using them. Fingers are good for pointing, drawing, and shooting a bow and arrow. Fingers should not be used, however, for eating spaghetti or selecting the things that you like out of the soup.
- I don’t generally fix any food that is “gross” or “disgusting,” so please do not use those words in reference to the meal you are served.
- Your meat is not a popsicle. Please do not spear a large piece of meat with your fork and then take bites off of it. This applies to other food items as well, such as mashed potatoes.
- We do not entertain others by showing them what food we are tasting with ketchup or salad dressing on it. Ketchup is for meatloaf or chicken nuggets or hamburgers. If you’d like to gross everyone out by trying ketchup on pear slices or carrot sticks, save it for when you are eating with your friends. The Awana boys camp-out might be a great place for some of those tricks!
- We do not announce our burps (or any other bodily functions) at the table. Instead, we politely say “excuse me.” Likewise, we do not draw attention to the bodily functions of others. This is not appetizing dinner table discussion.
- Speaking of dinner table discussion, some things are better to talk about than others. It’s good to talk about what we did in school, fun things that happened today, and how Daddy’s day was. It’s not so good to talk about our scabs or what kind of roadkill we saw in the street, or to tell an endless account of our accomplishments on the Wii.
- If you find yourself saying something that starts with, “Hey brother! Watch this!” it’s probably not appropriate for the dinner table.
- Your favorite stuffed animals can watch the meal from the other room. They’ll be safer in there. The multitude of spilled drinks that we seem to experience at each meal is just one of the many reasons that we don’t bring toys to the table.
Thank you for your participation in making meal time a pleasant experience for the entire family. Your after meal clean-up skills are coming along nicely, and I’m sure that your dinner table manners will follow suit!