Friday, February 27, 2009

Tonight's Topic

So here's the deal. I always swore that my family would eat dinner at the dinner table every night. Growing up, we did until my mom died, then we just sat in front of the tv with trays and ate without talking to each other. When we had Joe-Henry we always ate at the table, and I loved it. I loved seeing the faces of my family and chatting about our days. But somehow in the last year, we had gotten into a horrible habit of having dinner in front of the tv every night, watching the news. It always went something like this:

TV: In tonight's headline news, SOMETHING TERRIFYING JUST HAPPENED

Joe-Henry: (staring at television) That's so scary

TV: lame local commercial plays with bad music and bad actors

Joe-Henry: Duh. (mimics bad actors)

Charley: Eat your dinner

Me: chew, chew, chew

Repeat until both Charley and I yell: EAT YOUR DINNER.

WE have a perfectly lovely dining room, but the table seems to be the piling and dumping place, so cooking dinner also involves cleaning off the dining room table first and I'm just tired before I start.

But, after some prompting from the husband, one day this week when Joe-Henry and I were both sick, I came up with an idea and included him and it's sort of taking flight and we all love it. I had read somewhere about conversation cards that people have at the dinner table. You could buy a deck somewhere, but Joe-Henry and I decided to come up with our own, so I got out some 3 x 5 cards and we went to town.

Our topics include things like "If you could meet one famous person from history who would it be?" and "Who is your favorite Star Wars character and why?", and suddenly my kid, who acted like we were making him sit on a chair of nails if we told him we were going to sit at the dinner table, is saying things like "I can't WAIT to see what tonight's topic is!"

Last night's topic was "share 3 things that you appreciate about the other people sitting at the table".

Joe-Henry said "I like that you care about what happens to me, and you have rules", and he said some other stuff, but I could hear because I was crying.

And he was giggling. Because his mom is a dope.

I love my family.

4 comments:

Robin Amos Kahn said...

What a fantastic idea! I love your family, too, and that you came up with your own topics.

I understand about the dining room table, I always move the stuff to one end. And I'm grateful that my husband likes to cook or we would have eaten brown rice or spaghetti almost every night.

*Lissa* said...

That is a great idea! My friend Christy does this as well and loves it.

Minivan Mom said...

Can I tell you how much I love that you are posting a lot again?

And how much I love that your bubble man, Ron Winters, commented on MY blog?

I'm also a stickler for family dinners. The research is amazing on it (the benefits on families), so we dutifully gather around the kitchen table every night, although lately it's been at 7-7:30pm (dang baseball). I feel like it's not that far in the future that we won't be able to do it anymore due to schedule conflicts...we're going to blink and they're going to be teenagers!

We go around the table and ask what was the "hi/low" of your day, but I like the idea of cards, because sometimes family dinner time turns into Mom and Dad lecture time about behavior at school that day...which I don't think is the benefits the research talked about!

Amber said...

That's an awesome idea:)And you are NOT a dope.