Rules for Children at Table

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.

Signed,

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.

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Comments

  1. 2

    says

    Love it!! You need to framw it really cute and hang it in your kitdhen. That is a treasure. We have a few of those rules here at our house…..and yet it seems as if they still don’t happen.

  2. 5

    says

    Wow, what a cool find.

    I’d make a copy, turn it into one of those trendy social contracts teachers like to use now, and have ’em sign it. And tell them if they break the rules, the ghost of their great grandfather will come to the dinner table.

    is that bad?

  3. 8

    says

    Dinner manners aside, I’m just in awesome that you have something in his handwriting. That’s really quite a treasure.

    Now for those dinner rules… if only our house run so well. The big guy is always touching the baby and getting out of his seat. And for some reason, he usually runs from the table yelling “I’ve gotta poo poo!” most nights of the week. Ummmkay!

  4. 9

    says

    We have some work to do at our table! 🙂

    Come check out my hair disaster. It will give you a good laugh (just don’t laugh too hard at me)

  5. 12

    says

    There is definitely a need for some rules of the table in this modern world however the not talking one I think is what I would leave out as again, today, meal times are one of those precious times when you are all together as a family and so being able to chat about the day is a great gift.

  6. 13

    says

    SO cool to find that!! I know what you mean about missing the noise..since the brothers I raised are now grown and moved out to Hollywood, I do miss the noise(only sometimes haha)..They are drummers and musicians(writing, etc.-guitar) so some of that noise I do not miss lol

    You should frame your precious keepsake maybe in a shadowbox with a pic of your great(great) grandfather:)

  7. 38

    Melissa says

    I love it!!! I need to use that in my house! My grandma never allowed elbows on the table. If my mom or her siblings did grandma would lift the arm and let it bang back down on the table… Oh how times have changed…

  8. 39

    says

    喜歡 別了秋天 完全緣於對 秋天的童話 的鍾愛 當片中十三妹拆開船頭尺送贈的錶帶時 背景就徐徐播放著這段主題音樂 是整齣戲最感動人心的一幕 張婉婷巧妙地借用了美國作家O. Henry的經典短篇 The Gift of the Magi 中的twist ending 一對貧困夫妻於聖誕夜互相交換禮物的愛情橋段 為齣戲加添了感人的戲劇效果 不禁會替男女主角的分別感到黯然神傷的 說實話 別了秋天 是至今唯一稱得上喜歡的呂方歌曲 ~ ~盧冠廷為別人寫過的歌 還有下面幾首是自己的心水選擇 黃鶯鶯 如何能把你挽留 ~ 這是盧氏80年代的自家創作 首歌旋律動聽 後來亦被他重唱過廣東版 變成 求你不要走 但自己還是較喜歡黃的原裝國語版多些 葉德嫻 親親傷心的我 悶人夏季 ~ 同樣收錄於 你留我在此 專輯 癲妮的騷味唱腔 真的能為首歌加分不少呀

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