Wednesday, 19 August 2015


Now that we're past the toddler age we've upped the game in terms of dining expectations.  When we're at home sippy cups have been traded for real, albeit plastic, cups. Forks and spoons are required for most meals.  Overall, Molly and Jack have excelled in finer(ish) dining and only a few reminders need to be stated in terms of what isn't acceptable during dinner.

Recently there has been less clean-up required around the dining table and we're less likely to need a drop sheet every time we eat anything remotely saucy, that is until the past week or two.

Molly has been a bit clumsy lately.  So spilly that we had to go out and purchase additional mopping supplies between regularly scheduled grocery shopping for fear that ants would run us out of our house.  She's knocked over cups of juice, milk, water and food items nearly every day (sometimes several times a day) for well over a week now.

"Molly did you finish your dinner?"

"Yes. Those are just meat crumbs at the bottom of my juice."

Last night Molly dropped yet another item of food, I think it was applesauce, onto the kitchen floor.
Chris reminded her to be more careful, as she had spilled, again.  Once the kids had vacated the kitchen to watch some TV, I  reminded him that she's probably just growing and that he might want to go easy on her.  She has been very hungry lately, which I assume means another growth spurt. Chris called shenanigans, reminding me that a number of the spills involved trying to store a drink on a couch instead of the table or accidentally knocking over something with a toy, even when she was warned about playing during meal time.  He wasn't buying a simple a case of growing pains. I reminded him that she is my daughter and I am quite spilly myself.

I looked it up and most kids are supposed to have their motor skills catch up with their growing limbs by the time they are 8 or 9, until puberty sets in and they go into growth overdrive once again,

To minimize and contain mess we've been trying to implement the following meal guidelines most of the time, but sometimes the minions need reminders:

  1. Don't over-stuff your mouth (Jack).
  2. No, we don't need to see what your food looks like now that you have chewed it.
  3. Unless you have to go to the bathroom, please stay at the table.
  4. Your food is not a toy, so please don't paint the table with your soup.
  5. My preference is that you NOT sit in my lap while we both eat our dinner.
  6. When you "share" your food with each other, I know you aren't doing it just to be kind, you're trying to get out of eating something.
  7. If you spill, we will get you to (try to) help us clean up your mess.  If you spill because you're being silly (making a toy dragon that we've told you to put down six times swim in your milk), you can't have any more milk.
What rules have you set up around meals?  Is it working?  Does someone want to come over and help me scrub our floors?

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