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Family: The Sounds You Hear

I had this beautiful idea of sharing our dinner time routine with you.

This post was going to be full of advice and encouragement. I was going to brag about how no one ever complains or disagrees at the table. There is never a spill or a mess. Everyone loves everything I cook and cleans their plates every night. They rush to help cleanup and ask what else they can do to serve.

And then I woke up.

Because dinner time at our house is wild.

It’s loud. It’s messy. It’s crazy.

Sometimes my two-year-old will not eat a bite. My daughter argues over the Ketchup bottle. My son spills his apple juice. And it’s likely that someone will burst into tears.

There are noodles on the floor. Kids getting up and down and conversation without limits.

If you listened, you might hear whining, crying, laughing, talking, smacking, chomping, and chewing.

I used to get so frustrated during dinner. I compared our noisy dinners to my picturesque idea of perfection. But not too long ago, it dawned on me to enjoy the boisterous, messy occasion. To laugh at the spills and capture the moment.

Because I know I will look back on this time and miss it.

  • Now, it’s not a free for all. I do have some dining standards:
  • Don’t like what’s on your plate? Try it. Take a bite, you might like it.
  • Kids set the table and clean up the table.
  • Play with your food (as long as you eat it too).
  • We don’t miss dinner for play dates or TV time (ever). We make eating together as a family a high priority.
  • We don’t lean back in our chair, but if we do, we laugh if someone falls out.
  • We can talk about anything at the table, as long as we respect each other.

Sure, I can find many things at dinner time I’d like to change. But I need to focus on the good: I love that we are together. I love that we have ample choices of food on our table. I love that I have the ability to clean it up (and that my hubby is a huge help). I love that my kids will try new foods.

I love that the sound I hear is my family.

Originally published on We Are THAT Family

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