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I've written before about the antics that go on at our place at meal times. My children seem to equate 'dinner' with 'chasings' and the whole affair generally degenerates into mixture between a circus and a rant-a-thon.
This was my motivation for adding 'reclaim the dining room table' to my 52in52 list. I thought that if we could sit together and eat as a family, maybe the kids would stop running around and just get on with the business of eating?
There were a lot of obstacles in getting the table back. I wrote about some of them here. The final touches came about a month ago now from a combination of re-purposing the Ikea highchairs for the twins (into booster chairs) and the "DMT* School of Engineering" shelf that I built from a plank of wood and some left-over pavers.
The 'study' was promptly re-configured into said shelf above the glassware cabinet and the table returned to its original form, a dining table for a famiy of six.
I am pleased to report that this move has done the trick. No more dinnertime antics. Just a happy family, eating together and chatting around the dining table each night. There has been no miracle here; the kids have not morphed into brussel sprouts and brocolli eating machines or anything (I still live in hope). But the family meal has been restored to the way I remember it being as a kid.
I'm pretty happy about that.
How do you manage the family meal and all of its challenges?
* DMT is my father, an engineer, and a recycler well before it was cool. When we were kids we all learned to fashion shelves out of wood and bricks.