You can imagine in a family our size that dinner time can be a mini event unto itself, and sometimes it is. Tra has it pretty dialed in by now and it usually goes without a hitch. I guess it depends on your definition of “hitch”. If a hitch is spilled milk, dropped food or complaining, then it usually goes off with a hitch. Either way, Tra has a well organized system.Step one, she cooks something yummy. Tonight it was stir fry, with enough meat to feed a football team. She always cooks extra, or attempts to cook extra so I have something for lunch the next day. Every once in a while, somebody is extra hungry and there are no left overs for poor old dad, so I do without lunch. ( not really, don’t tell anyone but I usually go next door and get sub sandwich and some soup, so you can quit “awwwww, poor Glenn” for me, unless you think I really deserve it then you can just buy me lunch)
Step 2, call everyone to the table. Now when I say table, I mean the kitchen counter and the little round table, those two combined are just enough for all of us. We don’t often eat at the dining table. As all men know, the dining table is reserved just for guests worthy of the table. The calling to dinner is quite often a chore due to the loudness of our children and the size of our home. However, Tra has a special range in her voice, a special note, pitch or key that she hits when she calls out dinner time. This note, it sends shivers down my spine and makes my ears hurt, and she loves it. How do I know she loves it? Because I see her smiling to herself every time she hits that note and she sees me cower out of the corner of her eye next to her in agony. A small price to pay for some good grub, and besides I am used to my ears bleeding. (See the Charles E. Fromage post from November)
Step three, dish it out. The kids sit, and Ma dishes out plates. She prefers it this way because she can control the chaos that is dinner. I usually have milk duty, and I have to say the time I spent waiting tables comes in handy. I can pour milk into cheap plastic cups with the best of them. There is definitely an art, because you pour too fast, the cup tips and chaos ensues. You pour too slow, and kids starve to death and peace ensues. You must pour just right. If only there were an Olympic event.
Finally, we have designated pray day or DPD. The way it works is that Monday is Dorian’s day to Pray, Tuesday Alli, Wednesday Olivia, etc. etc. Jo thinks every day is her day so she often starts us off with quick prayer for her toy horses, then the DPD person jumps in. I would like to report this is before we partake, but it seems as soon as someone gets their plate, they start scarfing, and every so often, someone is already done when it is prayer time. Then we eat. I would love to tell you that this is quality family time, and sometimes it is. But it seems that more often it is a contest to see who can finish first or eat the most. I usually win!