Saturday, March 27, 2010

Well that's a relief

You know, I don't have too many aspirations for my children. Just want them to be able to give and receive love, kindness and peace etc... and well, to be healthy.  But there is one other thing that I've always secretly hoped for, and that would be that they'd follow Susanne's lead regarding table manners.

You see, Susanne like most people who originally come from Europe, eats elegantly. Her fork and knife magically dance together on her plate to gracefully make it all look so easy.  She even knows how to lay the silverware in the proper position when she's done at a restaurant to signal that she is finished. Her whole German family is a bunch of elegant eaters if you want to know the truth.

I, on the other hand, am sort of a food shoveler. I think it probably comes from having so many brothers and sisters. You see, I learned to eat fast, using the arm not holding a utensil to protectively guard my plate. (I believe the word is "uncouth"). I never thought much about this as a kid. Seemed to me to be a pretty efficient way to eat in all honestly.  Anyway, as I grew older it occurred to me that I might need to modify this method lest I look like starving hyena. So I began to study others. For example, I soon learned that people often start their meals by putting their napkin on their laps. Hmmmm...interesting.

And I don't think I'd ever noticed as a kid that tables were supposed to be set a certain way. Fortunately my friend Amy M. once gave me some great advice to help me keep this all straight. She taught me that every utensil with 5 letters goes on the right (cuz the word right has 5 letters see) and every utensil with 4 letters goes on the left (cuz the word left has 4 letters.) Try it! Fork, left. Knife, spoon to the right. This little trick has saved me from a lot of embarrassment over the years.

I got to work with some State Department protocol officers a few years ago and it was fascinating have dinner with them often while we traveled and hear stories of how they were trained. Who knew you should tear off one piece of bread at a time off your dinner roll, butter that piece and eat it, before tearing another piece? Eye opening to say the least. 

The point of my story? Well even though at age two Danny still tends toward not even using silverware very much at all, he's getting better about it and surprised us about a week ago by grabbing a nearby knife (which I'm sure was on my right) and properly cutting his food just like he's seen Mama Susanne do a million times.

Warms my heart it does. Let's hope he picks up on lots of other stuff the way she does it! Have a great weekend everybody. -Monica

P.S. In the pic above Danny models how to elegantly eat his "eggy". He also loves to make his "eggy". One egg, splash of milk, bit of salt and pepper (all in a large glass bowl) beaten together with a fork (which is his favorite part). Then 1 minute in the microwave. It really is quite good. Try it!

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