dinner with the Ken-Tex family

We have dinner kind of early. The boys eat best if they aren't super tired and ready for bed. When 5:15 rolls around, I start setting the table. It goes something like this:

I fix the boys' plates so that their food can cool. They are already in their chairs, ready. Nate says, "I don't like carrots! I like crunchy chicken." (Which is not on the menu.) Ben says, "Meat! Meat! I want meeeeeeat!"

I fix their drinks and turn off the TV, and Rodgers fixes our drinks. Nate and Ben have already burned their mouths on their food because they just couldn't wait any longer. Ben blows on his and says, "Go away hot!"

We sit down, and Nate blesses the food, "Thank you Gooooooooood, for the fooooooooood. Aaaaaaamen!" Then it's Ben's turn, "Thank you Gooooooood, for 'cchini. And carrots. Aaaaamen!"

I've taken 1 bite, and Ben is already asking for more zucchini. I give him a lot. Repeat x 4. Then he starts eating Rodgers' food. "More meat?!"

Ben has decided he wants to potty train, so he spends most of the day in only a T-shirt. Generally he should put something on his bottom to sit at the dinner table, but today I've forgotten about that. His skin makes a scooting sound on the plastic seat cover of his chair. Nate exclaims, "Did Ben TOOT?!" Then I realize that, not only is Ben wearing nothing but a T-shirt, Nate is wearing nothing but underwear. Oh well. We'll work on proper dinner dress next time.

Meanwhile, Nate has eaten only a few bites because he is making noises. I tell him to stop making noise and eat. "But I'm saying 'zee-zee-wha-wha-wha!'" Rodgers tells him, "Eat 10 bites, then you can say 1 word."

As I eat in the relative peace, it dawns on me that Nate is counting to 10 way too fast. "Nate! 1 bite, chew and swallow, then another." He's got half a link of sausage in his mouth and can no longer close his lips. He manages to get through it without choking himself, so that's a relief.

Rodgers and I attempt conversation. We are trying to teach the boys not to interrupt, so I think it's important that we give them chances to practice. They do a pretty good job, but it's still a little chaotic.

Ben announces he's done, jumps down, and goes into the living room to play. Nate is also done. It's time for him to do his homework, but Rodgers and I have only just started eating. I tell him I'll get his homework out for him once I've finished. I remind him to take his plate and fork to the kitchen, which he does. Then he goes to play in the living room with Ben.

Rodgers keeps an eye on them. This is the time of day when they run off all that extra energy they have so that they can go to bed. They are all over the place, but at least they aren't fighting.

Once I finish eating, I call Nate back to the table to do his homework. Rodgers is still finishing up. Ben gets back in his chair to eat more from Rodgers' plate and some from his own because he still had food left when he was "done."

Finally, the food is all eaten, homework is done, and we have a few minutes of play time left before the bedtime routine starts.

And Nate says, "I'm ready for a snack."


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