Table manners are of utmost importance in our home. Every evening we set the table – and I mean SET THE TABLE, there are placemats, sideplates, knives and forks put in the correct position, serviettes, glasses and the correct condiments.
We eat our food on perfectly warmed plates at the table every night.
We believe that correct table manners are an essential skill that we can teach our children, that, should they be at a friends home, or any other situation where our child may eat, people will openly say “those Loots kids have perfect table manners”. Too often we are shocked at the lack of table manners in Adults and Children we come accross.
The children have to eat with a knife and fork, no, they cannot shovel their food into their mouths, they have to cut their food into biteable portion sizes, they then HAVE to place the food into their mouth, then, set their knive and fork down until they have finished chewing and swallowing the food in their mouth, and then, ONLY THEN, may they pick up their cutlery and continue the process.
Which now gets me to last night.
Last night was Bacon and Egg for dinner night – and boy do we LOVE “bacon and egg for dinner night” – we all get involved with the grilling, toasting, frying, scrambling, buttering and plating. On bacon and egg night we are guaranteed that every morsel on every plate will be eaten.
The order is always the same
Frans – 1 egg (flipped) – two pieces of toast (brown) – bacon
Rosie – 3 eggs (2 scrambled, 1 fried) – two pieces of toast (1 white, one brown) – bacon
Jamie – 3 eggs (all fried), two pieces of toast ( both white) – bacon
Mom – The reject eggs, one piece of toast – bacon
We plate the food and sit down. Grace is said. Then………………then……………
Jamie tucks in. He doesnt touch his knife and fork – with his hands he whopps his bacon onto a piece of toast that already has two fried eggs on it and folds (hope you read this well FOLDS) his piece of toast over the bacon and eggs on top of it, picks it up in his hands and starts chomping. Note the word chomping.
His eyes are closed, he is sitting a 1/2 a push away from the table, there is a yellow drip on his chin – he is in heaven.
Frans, Rosie and myself sit – our knifes and forks hovering in mid air, our mouths open.
Frans says, ” “
Rosie says, ” “
Mom says, ” “
Jamie opens his eyes and says, “WHAT?”
The other two are still speechless, “Jamie” I say “Shouldnt you use your knife and fork?” – I have just seen every parenting skill I have ever owned swallowed with that sandwich.
Now at this stage there is a very large part of me saying to myself – YOU WANT TO EAT A SANDWICH JUST LIKE THAT DONT YOU? – there is a part of myself that is just downright jealous. I can feel the texture of the bread in my hands as I fold it over the eggs. I can feel the crunchiness as I bite through the bread, into the yolk, I can feel one yellow drop landing on my chin. I also want to be in bacon and egg heaven.
Jamie finishes chewing and says “OK” as he pops the last morsel into his mouth.
From now on Bacon and Egg night – in our house – is going to be a hand held affair. Stringent rules can sometimes, and only sometimes, take the beauty away from an experience. Sometimes breaking the rules can be more fun than sticking with the norm.