by EBB on Saturday, November 21, 2009
The well mannered modern mother is bemused when people tell her that her children have “nice table manners” in a voice suggesting that she is somehow “lucky.” She is not lucky. She has suffered thousands of excruciating meals with her young barbarians day after day and night after night. Even the most adoring and indulgent parent must admit that eating with a four year-old is vile. Yet, with the long term goal of civilized eaters; the well mannered mother persists hoping that some day her child will remember to put his napkin on his lap, use the proper utensils, chew with his mouth closed, sit up straight and ask to be excused at the end of the meal. She reminds herself that nagging, yelling and eating in front of the television will not improve the outcome. Yet, even the most well mannered among us can not live like that all the time. She knows there is a place for the occasional respite of popcorn and a movie for dinner (that's right not a vegetable in sight!). After all, the well mannered modern mother is not a masochist. So she beats on against the tide optimistically dreaming of a time when a family meal will be a pleasant, leisurely and seated event. And perhaps, some day, it will.