I found a genealogical gem a few years which I just recently re-uncovered. It’s aptly titled “Rules for Children at Table” and was written by my great-grandfather (I might need to add a great or two in there), Ezra Martin.
Once again I’m struck with an “if only”. IF ONLY I had paid attention to this when I first found it. Had I taught my children these rules our dinners would be:
Silent. There would be no whining, complaining or bickering, and wouldn’t that be wondrous? I just might miss the noise though. I’m not sure. Maybe I’ll give this a try and let you know.
I like this list. I really do. I just feel it’s lacking. I mean, where is the part about clearing the table and washing the dishes without a gripe?
Rules for Children at Table
Gently I must take my seat, and give thanks to God before I eat.
I must not scold or whine or pout, nor move my chair or plate about.
I must not speak a noisy word: for children may be seen not heard.
I must not talk about my food nor fret if I don’t think it good.
I must not say, “that bread is old”, the “milk is hot”, nor the “water too cold”.
Nor while I am eating speak aloud, nor with the food my mouth to crowd.
The table cloth I must not spoil, nor with my food my fingers soil.
When told to rise I must not push my chair away with a noisy rush.
Nor bang the door, and what is more must give my thanks to God above for all his kind and wondrous love.
This is how I was taught, Ezra F. Martin
P.S. My most embarrassing moment is up for a Parent’s Pick Award at Nickelodeon’s Parent’s Connect. I’m assuming I can use all the votes I can get. So, if you have a moment, hop on over. My moment of glory is first, under jagelees.