6 Crazy-Making Things My Kids Do at the Dinner Table

Mom Moment 21

I bet there are children whose dinner table behavior is absolutely impeccable. Their manners are top-notch, they chew with their little rosebud mouths shut, they charmingly and politely contribute to the conversation. They probably even know which is the salad fork and which is the cheese fork and which is the bouillon spoon.

My children do not belong to that category. We work on manners, but so far I'd probably describe the results as "Cro-Magnon-ish," except that might be a little insulting to cavemen. I'm always happy when our little foursome is able to sit down together for a family meal, but I can't lie -- there are things that drive me absolutely bonkers about eating with my kids.

For instance:

Loud chewing. We nag about this. Oh, do we nag. But there are still times when the kids sound like beavers industriously working their way through a 50-foot redwood tree. Or a scourge of locusts devouring the Earth's crops. Smack smack smack. And that's not even taking into account the MILK GLURPING. Who drinks milk like they're attempting the spring break six-quart beer bong challenge? MY CHILDREN.

Precious chair-sitting. My older son is particularly prone to this offense: he likes to sit on his knees with his feet poking through the back of the chair. And no, it's not that he's not tall enough for the table, he just prefers to sit that way. This wouldn't be so bad if his weight didn't offset the balance of the chair and occasionally send him crashing over backwards with a startled yelp. You'd think he'd learn, right? WRONG.

Speed-bolting their food. Okay, it's not like I spend hours slaving over a hot stove for my kids' meals, but I do put some effort into it. Why does everyone have to consume their food as though they're in the midst of a Guinness-level competitive eating contest? Frankly, my husband's guilty of this one too. I feel like I spend all this time getting food on the table, then everyone descends like starving wolves, and .005 seconds later it's time to do the dishes.

Disappearing from the table. My 5-year-old has the habit of just ... ghosting away from the table, mid-chew. We've repeatedly reminded him that he needs to ask to be excused, but he only remembers about half the time. It's almost eerie, actually. One second he's there, the next the chair is mysteriously empty.

Interrupting. Oh my god with the interrupting. I feel like our family dinner conversation sounds like a skipping record that's attempting to play audio of a group of coked-up cattle auctioneers. "So what did you --" "DAD CHECK THIS --" "Hey, he was --" "Anyway so I --" "DAD THIS MORNING I --" "Do cats have a --" "Guys I can't -- " "Can everyone please --" "MOM THIS TASTES --" "GUYS!"

The mess. Yeah, the mess. At 7 and 5, my kids aren't quite as bad as they were as toddlers, but still. STILL. They don't eat over their plates, for crying out loud. I understand there are distractions and life isn't meant to be squeaky-clean at all times and family dinners -- at least at our house -- aren't formal affairs by any means, but for god's sake, boys. If crumbs are going to fall from your mouth in a continuous rain of floor-littering detritus, AIM YOUR FOOD-HOLE OVER YOUR GODDAMNED PLATE.

Whew! That felt good. Okay, your turn -- what are your pet peeves about kids at the dinner table?

Image via Linda Sharps

boys, behavior, discipline, food


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catwo... catwoman123456

  Can't get mine to eat more than three things- chicken patties, steak and chicken drumsticks. And no vegetables- except corn, only in niblet form. Just try menu planning around that.cat

MamaDori MamaDori

I love it! Thank you for always making me laugh and letting me know that I'm not alone in raising/ being driven insane by my precious boys. (They are also two years apart, but 4 and 2.)

Laura Palmer

My family does all of these, the next one the irritates me is that my DH and 12 year old son get into a battler of "well your a butt smeller", and then "oh yeah well you smell like butts"... it's not always about butt smells, it's different every night... you get the point.

jalaz77 jalaz77

The mess and the countless times I have asked them to eat over their plate, then it leads to PUT YOUR FACE OVER YOUR PLATE, FOR CHRIST SAKE!! The interrupting is rediculous. We give them a couple interruptions but after the 3rd, time out. My 2.5 year old either accidentally knocks his cup (sippy cups with straws) over or deliberately throws it. Both pisses me off cause some milk sprays out and the cup sometimes dents the floor, character I guess! I know they are kids but damn.

nonmember avatar ohbaby

I have two girls, 3 and 4. My 4 year old is pretty good but the younger one...she sits the same way as your oldest, CONSTANTLY falls over (despite our reminders), and broke out the back of one of our dining chairs. She proudly points out the lovely glued back every chance she gets. The mess...that's the worst. I can't even...

ruby_... ruby_jewel_04

My boys (6 and 3) attack each other with their forks and spoons. >.

ruby_... ruby_jewel_04

Oh, and talking with a full mouth. OMG. If I had a dime for every time i had to yell at one of my kids about that...

Jennifer Hauser

I have 2 boys ages 2 and 4. Oh the fun *smh* The last part made me LOL! 

Emily Langone Campbell

On behalf of my 2 & 5 yo's I'd like to add: dropping their silverware 5 times per meal, seemingly constant requests for more ketchup and "shaky cheese", super slow eating, and the subsuquent REHEATING requests, all the general complaining and whining regarding the amount/temperature/texture/size/yuckiness of any or all things they are served, even their favorites, specially prepared upon request. 

irish... irishmama1007

The speed eating made me LOL! My husband and his brothers have a saying "Whoever eats the fastest gets the mostest". My pet peeves are chewing with food in the mouth and telling me they do not like something just by looking at it.

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