Saturday, 5 March 2011

52in52: The family meal

Image found here
I am taking a leaf out of Kelly's book and setting myself something new to do each week in 2011. I am going to post about it each week on Saturday. I won't be doing this in any particular order, and will add the link to the post when it is complete. If I don't manage to acheive everything on the list, (highly likely) I will donate $5 for everything I missed to Oxfam for all the amazing work they do. So here goes...

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.

14 comments:

Jess said...

Love the new look of your blog :) so glad to hear your dinnertime has improved...I often think of your post from a while back and wonder hope you coped!

Where there's a will there's a way!

X

Jess said...

Love the new look of your blog :) so glad to hear your dinnertime has improved...I often think of your post from a while back and wonder hope you coped!

Where there's a will there's a way!

X

Jess said...

Is there an echo in here? ;)

Lucy said...

We have a kitchen table at which we dine. THrough the week, the chilren and I eat together at around 6pm. I am strict and a meanie about table manners. I bore myself.

Then at weekends we all eat together at the kitchen table, or outside in good weather. Lovely husband has taken to remarking amazedly at their good table manners. I am modest enough at the moment to not screech "It doesn't happen by bloody accident y'know"!

We do have a dining table. It is used for homework and craft.....

Maxabella said...

Oh, you know me... x

Cottongirl7 said...

Yay for reclaiming the table. Eating together at the table was always really important to both The Husband and I growing up, and has carried over to our kids. Pretty much 7 days a week we sit down as a family at the kitchen table and eat our dinner. It's always been a good time to relate the happenings of the day. I know I'm silly, but I look forward to playing table games with the kids as they get older like "What was your high/low of the day, and What did you do for your body/mind today?" Right now the Husband and I do most of the talking and the little people spend their energy mastering the art of the fork and spoon. :)

Melissa (Confessions of a Dr. Mom) said...

Great idea. With young ones still not wanting to sit still for any prolonged time, our family meal is rushed at best.

I really want it to be more relaxing and a time when we can sit and talk...I really hope someday soon :)

Kymmie said...

I'm loving that you've finally reclaimed your dining room table and meals are better for you and your lovely littlies. We have all our meals at the table, because 1 year old toddlers can't sit still unless restrained. (I know you know this, but I'm saying it for my benefit, am on holidays and didn't bring high chair or booster - doh!). I still get up and down every meal several times, but I'm now making some changes there too. I've just posted about my weight issues and just woolfing down food while I can and there's still some improvement. For me anyway! xx

Kevin said...

We don't have trouble at the dinner table. I think in part to that we still buckle our two year old son into his booster seat. If it weren't for that, I know for a fact that he'd be a handful at the table. He doesn't like to sit still for more than 10 seconds. Our daughter though, is pretty good. The only trouble with her is; getting her to eat.

therhythmmethod said...

We eat at the table every night, but toddlers have a knack for making it a battle field. I'm struggling at the moment to keep our 2 year old at the table. He's a fussy eater and tiny, so it feels like every bite counts. Hoping he comes around like his big brother did - eldest boy now eats everything.
Good for you on having nice family meals.

Cate said...

Our family dinners alternate between dinner table and couch (depending on the night of the week). Sometimes I eat with them and sometimes I wait for hubby to get home - but we can usually only sit down as a whole family on sat and sun nights - and quite frankly it can be quite a strain (between fussiness and bickering and chewing with mouths open etc etc - sometimes it's better just not to watch!!)...but it is getting easier as they get older :-)
xxxCate

Life In A Pink Fibro said...

LOL at the shelf. Well done for getting yourself some Dining Table Rights.

Photographer Mum said...

Yay for you! As of our house makeover, we have also had every meal at the table. It's the new rule and it's working a treat!

Tenille @ Help!Mum said...

We eat at the dinner table, but need to make certain that ABC2 isn't left on in the background. Iggle Piggles annoying little squeak will never fail to raise Lil's attention, and we have a hard time getting it back.

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