Thursday, January 13, 2011

Keep Pushin' On

When B was born, we all ate together at the table - he was in a high chair of course, but still, we ate at the table.  I remember thinking it was a habit we wanted to form early on.

After b was born, somehow we lost our way.  I am not sure exactly when it all happened.  Somewhere in the mix of taking on a second job, and whirlwind of 2 toddlers, and the business of life and such...I don't know.  Nowadays, the boys eat at their little table, I sit on the couch next to them with a plate and the Canadian usually eats in front of his computer.

So lately I have noticed a few things I want to address:
  1. b is 3 now and he canNOT behave in a restaurant, i.e. sit at the table - so we rarely go out.
  2. B and b won't eat hardly anything anymore.
  3. B and b are hungry at bedtime.
  4. We are disconnected as a family.
So I decided that we need to get back into the dinner routine, even though it will ultimately mean more work for me, and even though it will probably be a painful transition. *SIGH*


So tonight, without any fanfare, I cooked dinner and set the table.  I even brought the food to the table rather than making the plates first.  I put a variety of items hoping even the pickiest of eaters would find something. I told everyone that dinner was ready and to come sit down.

In a word, it was...W.E.I.R.D.

B had this confused look on his face, and said, "What are we doing? Are we eating in here?"  He was intrigued and happy to play along.

b screamed his head off and did not want to sit at the table.  We would not let him down.  In his defense, he was napless and irritable anyway. This will be a process!

The Canadian scowled the whole time and would not even look up from his plate when directly addressed with a question. Disappointing, but not unexpected.

And me, well...

I was left sitting there alone, after we gave up on b and set him free, after B ate 3 bites of rice and 2 bites of a roll and finally after the Canadian reached his limit of togetherness.

While I sat there...

I had flashbacks to being a girl and sitting at the table, this same table that my Dad made my Mother when they got married.  I also remembered sitting at the table at my grandparents house, and my grandfather always saying the blessing. I did ask B to say the blessing tonight, as he is accustomed to saying the blessing at school (I LOVE his school).

I remembered that setting the table was always my job as a kid.  I think B will like to adopt this job as this "project" moves forward, so I will let him give it a try next time.

I stared at the ugly mess of pans and mismatched bowls and plates and think next time I will take a few extra minutes and make it look a little nicer.  It really wasn't that much extra work as I had thought it might be.

And so I cleared the table, loaded the dishwasher, and shed a few tears, but I am not defeated.

Let us not become weary in doing good,  for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9 
One of my favorite obscure-nobody-remembers-it-but-me songs is REO Speedwagen's Keep Pushin'.  As I cleaned the kitchen, I cranked it up and sang along...

Keep pushin, keep pushin, keep pushin, keep pushin on

Keep pushin, keep pushin, you know you have got to be so strong

Keep pushin, keep pushin, well even if you think your strength is gone
Keep pushin on 


  1. Oh Kerri, I'm feeling for you girl! I hope sit-down family dinners get easier for you every day. I can't imagine how tough that transition must be with two little ones on top of work. You are brave, and you can do it :)

  2. Keep at it, it will be fine. All the whining (even from the big kid) will go away once they get used to it...right? Keep us posted on the progress of family table time.

  3. just keep trying! we always have dinner at the table so I know when our daughter is born (and more kids later on) we'll always eat at the table and the TV is OFF!

  4. In the words of the ever so insightful Joe Dirt you gotta just "keep on keepin on...." :) How nice though, really, you brought back many memories for me as is rather STRANGe reading the line ab Daddy MAKING the that...Daddy actually making something with his hands!!! And I can remember dinner at Granny's too!!! It WAS nice to all sit around the table and eat & chat... and Poppa said his standard blessing EVERY time (except on holidays, it got vamped up a little ;)) "Oh Lord pardon our sins and thank Thee for these and all the blessed, in Jesus' name, AMEN!" Short, sweet, simple and to the point! (is it obvious I heard it a million times lol)

  5. My family grew up eating together at the table, too. I can remember one day my brother had a friend over and was shocked that we were eating at a table...he obviously liked it as he always made his way over at dinnertime.

    When Mike and I first got married, we had no dining room table so we ate on tv trays. Now, we have a table and sit at it, and it is nice, but was awkward at first. Nowadays, everyone is so used to the tv being on, or checking their cell phone for texts, we've lost touch with "family time."

    Good luck with dinner time!

  6. Thanks so much for sharing this! I used to always wait on Tim to get home from hunting or fishing or firewood or whatever his activity of the day was to eat dinner with him. Then Ava was born and waiting on Tim just kind of ended. Sad I know, but life just catches up with you before you know it. I think I will talk to him tonight about starting to try and eat together as a family (even if it isn't every single night).

  7. I think it's so great that you are trying to make family dinners a priority! I know I want to try to do this as much as I can with our family once our little girl is born, even though I know it will be a challenge. Thank so much for sharing!

  8. Wow - Thanks so much for the support everyone! I will keep you posted :)

  9. Good morning from Tokyo!

    As a mom who has been where you are, it will get better. I think it's wonderful that you're pulling together this specific time during what is probably a crazy day, to gather all together. Dinner should be a special time to talk and eat, to share your blessings.

    Be consistent, keep trying, and in time it will become your family's norm. They will come to appreciate this time together and look forward to it. Change isn't always easy, but you will get there!

    Once you are, you'll be amazed at how your meals at home translate to eating out as well. You can do it and I applaud your efforts. Family time is so underrated these days~it is so good to see you making it a priority.

    My best to you and yours...



  10. I am sorry it didn't work out as you had hoped tonight. But I am glad you are not willing to give up on dinner as a family. I actually don't remember us ever doing them in my family. I know I did at the grandparents.

  11. Can I just say that I like you more and more?!? I've really enjoyed reading your blog since you told me about it on sunday. I've had a blog, but haven't been very good at updating in a while. Because, when I read other people's blogs I get so frustrated. Where is the reality?!? It's all the snapshots of everything that goes RIGHT. Kudos to you for "keepin' it REAL." SO nice to read someone who's still looking for all the answers rather than trying to give them. I hope I get to spend more time with you and know you even more. Praying Isaiah 40:31 for you right now. May you continue to "wait upon the Lord, run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint."

  12. I can relate! In our other house, our family had grown out of our tiny kitchen with room for seating only four. The guys got used to eating in the LR on TV trays while watching TV. When we bought our new house, we also bought a large farm table for our larger kitchen. Papa Bear and I made it a rule that no one would eat anywhere else. We've done fairly well with dinner but I have to constantly remind the boys to eat all other meals in there. They groan and shuffle their feet to the table. But I'm standing firm. I will not budge. Don't give in, Kerri!


Kerri says:

Thanks so much for taking the time to share your thoughts! I LOVE reading your comments.

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