Meal times in our home are often interesting.
You can imagine the flurry of activity in gathering our 7 family members around the table, drinks for everyone, and a hot meal on the table. All the kids have various jobs in getting things ready...Caleb sets the silverware, Sophie sets the dishes, Ethan places the salt, pepper and any other condiments we need, and Emily puts on the napkins. Titus somehow escapes the table prep, and now that I'm seeing it as I write it...things may change.
As the children are getting older we're trying to make sure that they know proper table manners, how to handle eating certain foods, and things like that. We also try to help them eat well, without making big messes. Naturally, kids are messy. Hopefully, the older kids are a bit neater. Naturally, smaller kids need more help. For example, Fifi may think she can put just the right amount of dressing on her salad, only to accidentally squeeze out enough salad dressing for the entire family! Rather than setting myself, or my precious Fifi up for continued failure, I'd rather just help her put it on until I know she is capable of controlling her "squeeze". Same with ketchup, mustard, etc. WHY add another possible mess to the spilled drink, dropped noodles, and shmear of sauce if I don't have to?
Now that I've said that, enter this particular evening, at our cozy kitchen table...
Baked Chicken fingers sizzling in the pan, fresh steamed brocolli wafting its horrid smell into the kitchen, and a delicious bed of cheesy egg noodles awaiting to be served.
A prayer of thanks is offered..."Thank you God for my delicious food that Mother prepared for us, for my wonderful flamily, our wonderful house, my beautiful room and for giving us this food. Amen.
Food is served and all is well. Kids are hungry and its quiet-ish. Emily asks for mustard, grabs it and starts using it quicker than I can intervene. Through a rare meal miracle, she manages to escape a reign of mustard terror. Next, she asks for Ketchup, she likes to mix the two. THIS time, I intervene. There will be no mass ketchup carnage at my table tonight! (Enter hero fanfare music here) "Here, Emily...Let me help you with that...", says I, the matriarch of the proper table. Then, with a slight shake, a quick flip of the cap, and a twisting of parental fate, the ketchup squirts out all over the table and my hand. Fail. Epic ketchup fail. Ha!
Too funny for this to happen just as I step in to save our table from certain doom. Well, Sophie got up and got me a rag, I cleaned up, gave Emily her ketchup and the meal continued.
Approximately 10 minutes later, Emily asked for more ketchup. This time I was wise to the ketchup's wily ways. I won't shake it this time. I'll tip it ever so slightly. I won't squeeze it at all. Nice ideas, but as soon as I opened the bottle it happened again! Turns out, we own a ketchup bottle from the dark side! No matter how you open this ridiculous bottle it spews ketchup onto whatever is in its wake!!
We all had a good laugh over my misfortune. Sophie, the future blogger/photographer raced for the camera, and Caleb blurted out "blog!".
It was funny, and in a funny little way, I'm thankful that it happened. Sometimes our kids make mistakes, have accidents, and make messes that are out of their control. Us adults, often aren't very understanding. It is good to have an event like this to look back on. It will be helpful, at some time later, to be able to mention this event to that child who feels like they messed up again. A lesson in reality for all.
And time to shop for a new bottle of ketchup.