Monday, March 22, 2010

Experts, Schmexperts.

There are many studies out claiming that it is beneficial for families to sit down together for meals.  I'm not exactly sure how this is beneficial...and I don't have the time or energy to look up said studies.  I wonder what they base these studies on...certainly not my family.

We have always sat down together as a family for dinner.  Let me give you a brief synopsis of how virtually every evening goes:

We serve the twins first to keep them happy while we dish up the rest of the family's dinner.  They take a few bites, throw the rest on the floor (or at each other) and then begin to rock back and forth violently, making their booster chairs bang against the chairs they sit on.  We, after several attempts, coax the 3-year-old to the table, only to be informed by said 3-year-old that she does not like what we are eating...can she have chocolate milk....and she has to go potty.

We give the boys something else to eat (and eventually throw,) as we sit down.  The teenagers commence a conversation that starts out mildly inappropriate, and quickly turns into an argument.  The preteen girl then spills milk.  Next, as the twins grow anxious and begin yelling, the toddler (who has returned from the bathroom) now leads them in a rousing chorus of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," to be followed by "Jingle Bells."  This involves, for some reason, their hands up in the air, swaying back and forth, and singing so loud it echoes in the room.  Not to be outdone, the teenagers raise their voices, so their insults can be heard over the concert.  I begin glancing at the clock, and rubbing my throbbing forehead. 

Many attempts to get the toddler to eat later, which include the "bite count," and threats of time out...we decide to get the boys into a bath as they have now put whatever remaining food there is on their end-of-the-meal ritual accompanied by the loud "dah-dun!" 

We begin bathing them as the teenagers continue to argue, and the toddler continues to avoid eating her dinner by turning her attention to the teenagers and provoking them. 

I'm not exactly sure what the benefits are to this kind of interaction.  I suppose at least I always know where my children are in the evenings.  I should probably enjoy that now, because I'm sure that will change once the oldest can drive. might be kind of nice to have some of them eat at a friend's house once in awhile...I can see benefits to that, too...

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