The staple part of any family's day. We are old traditionals when it comes to food. Dinner is round the table without the television. An opportunity for us to talk, share about our day, enjoy each others company (for the most part)...
Our mealtimes start with Heidi. She is our table-layer and chief food lover, so she is always the first to the table. Some days she sits happily and waits, chatting as I finish getting the dinner ready, or playing with her fork and spoon. She repeats the same old stories. Like the time Nanny flushed her pants down the toilet and said "Goodness Me!" (Yes! That did happen this week!), or the time Ava bumped into her. Other days she is a little more demanding.
It's hard waiting for your dinner when you're two.
And then dinner is ready, and Papa will arrive home, and there will be a flurry of activity as food is served, aprons are donned and drinks are poured.
And then the meal will begin. Every meal begins with the ritual announcement from Ava; "OH! This is my favourite dinner!!" regardless of what it is. There will be a time to thank God for his provision for us again. And then we tuck in!
There may be things to fill Papa in on as he's literally just through the door from work.
There may be school tales from Ava.
There may be potty training clapping and cheering for Heidi.
There may be giggles for no reason between the girls.
There may be battles about pudding without dinner, or wanting to stand up in your high chair, or play with your food.
There may be jokes from three-year-old humour, like how funny it is to stick your drink up your nose.
There may be just sitting quietly and listening and enjoying your dinner.
Each mealtime is different. Some are a joy and a pleasure. Some are a battle and hard work. Whichever way it goes, I realise mealtimes are a training ground for the girls. They are learning to be grateful for what they have, they are learning how to listen, they are learning how to communicate, they are learning to share with the people they love, they are learning manners and self-discipline.
Most of all, they are learning what it means to be a family.
Our little family. Me and mine in March...