For the most part I really enjoy reading parenting blogs. I get lots of great ideas and generally come away feeling inspired. Very occasionally I have the complete opposite reaction. I come away feeling extremely inadequate and like my parenting is somewhat substandard. This happened today when I read Amanda Soule's post about her family's mealtime rituals and how much she enjoys gathering for dinner. For comparative purposes let me paint you the scene of a typical dinner at our house:
My husband works a lot of nights and is rarely home for dinner. Conversation is generally one sided seeing as I am the only person at the table capable of maintaining a sustained dialogue. Minty occasionally livens up the verbal exchange by loudly interjecting with an inappropriate word such as 'DOLPHIN', in the manner of a tourette's sufferer. I perch on the edge of our dinner table/work desk/ sewing table while juggling Turi who is screaming his lungs out. Let's just say we are about as far as it comes from using cloth place-mats appliqued with doilies.
The icing on the cake was Amanda's description of how her boys, 'love creating the 'scene' now themselves (complete with a daily rock-paper-scissors for who lights the candles).' I think the last time I lit a candle at dinner time was valentine's day 2007.
Lest we become too maudlin let's move onto brighter things. Today we made some play dough (I used the recipe on the side of the cream of tartar packet). Minty had lots of fun creating textures on the dough with rocks, seed pods, forks and skewers. I spent the time making play dough roses. Turi chewed his feet.