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oddly enough, chewing food doesn’t seem to slow down a child’s capacity for noise.  and idiocy.  i particularly noticed this one evening while the children were arguing over who got to be what on the pop bottle.  “i’m shasta!”  “no, i’m shasta!  you’re ginger!”  “well who is going to be ale?”  and after much rioting it was discovered that everyone would rather die than be ale.  and i discovered that i would rather die than listen to any repeat of this conversation.  ever.


lucky for me i have a husband who likes to read at the table.  marc has to begin by reading quietly for a bit.  then, just before the conversation derails itself into a puddle of quivering imbecility, he jumps in and saves the day with some fascinating anecdote.  and we’re off.  we’ve had talks about the girth of henry the 8th (complete with tape measure), the history of alcohol, feminism, socialism, colliding migratory birds, the birkenhead drill, the transatlantic cable, why people in paris are under the general impression the government should pick up their dog poo, margaret sanger and her “negro project,” we’ve read about symphonies and then had to listen to them, observed “beatlemania” on the ipod, we’ve honored deaths, celebrated births, and laughed.  a lot.

i imagine for lots of people this comes naturally.  but my husband and i would just as soon stare at each other.  we can’t help it, we’re both good looking.  😉  but boy has been incredibly faithful in this regard, and it’s been wonderful.  especially when you consider the alternative.  we’ve also declined to dismiss people immediately from the table.  if you really want to get down, you can go work on the dishwasher.  and usually i start kitchen work at this point and try to get the bulk of the work done before the mass exodus.  (they keep me company.)  but i hope that someday we can clear the table only to start all over again with dessert.  because this is the place you should want to be.  incidentally, if you do get down, it only means that it’s time for saxon math.  yes, let that put the fear of god in you.

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