Every Friday and Monday we sit down to dinner as a family. Those are the evenings DA isn’t working and can eat with us. DA loves to cook so he makes himself at home in the kitchen on his days off. While he’s labouring over some culinary masterpiece, I quietly set about dressing the table. A fine meal deserves a fine setting. By the time supper is ready, the lights are dimmed, the candles are lit, classical music is playing in the background and the table is bedecked in colour coordinated pretty things. On Mondays and Fridays we don’t eat, we dine.
Somehow, I expect the enhanced ambiance and the five star quality of the menu to have an effect on us all. I dream of a meal where we all sit properly and discuss appropriate subject matter civilly all the while nibbling on our delicacies with the utmost decorum. It is still a dream and not a reality.
Boys will be boys. Propriety is not in their vocabularies. Barring bodily noises and conversational tidbits that can make one lose one’s appetite, the boys play with the items on the table driving me to sigh deeply. Today, P took his napkin ring and used it for a stickman head. The body was made out of broken chicken souvlaki skewers. Once he got the basics done he added his knife to his creation and declared that Mr. Stickman was doing the Soldja dance. He then went on to use red wax from my centrepiece candle to put a red mark on Mr. Stickman’s head (also known as my napkin ring). Why? Because he decided Mr. Stickman was a religious dude. Either that or the red stuff was blood coming out of his head. Not exactly the table manners I’m shooting for. Yes. I laugh about it. Until I try to pick off the red wax he’s dribbled across the tablecloth to anoint his artistic creation. Then it seems less funny.
Life with boys isn’t about decorum. If I make that my expectation (and I confess that sometimes I do), I will be disappointed. Life to them is all about having fun and being funny. They try as hard at that as I do at having a Better Homes and Gardens tablesetting. I know that one day I will miss their antics but it isn’t today. They aren’t going to change for me so maybe, for now, I need to change for them. Can we compromise? Six days a week of boy-style humour for one day of sanity maintaining mom-style table manners? I’ll have to throw it out for consideration. At the very least, I’ll get some laughs.