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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Guess Who's NOT Coming to Dinner?

2010 by Jody Worsham
All rights reserved for Etiquette Lessons and an entry fee for America’s Funniest Cruising Videos

This post is much much shorter. Sorry the last one was so long.

Well, first of all, the five-year-old who has been on our other cruises, couldn’t remember any of them, so essentially, this was the first cruise. To him everything was “new”.

I always want the children to experience new things. The eight-year-old is now aware of different accents and languages. The five-year-old mainly wants to look out the cabin window at the water and ask “Are we there yet”?

The first night I insisted that we all eat together in the formal dinning room for a little exposure to meals that do not come in a sack with a toy or out of the freezer. Because we had made our reservations late, we were assigned late seating which was at 8:15. I had prepared for this by feeding the children pizza at 5 p.m.

I must say we had a good start. The five-year-old did put the napkin in his lap and not on his head; and he did not make a parachute out of it or make a tunnel for his spoon car…well, not at first. The waiter brought crayons and a booklet which kept them occupied for about five seconds. The Kiddy Menu had the standard fast food listed, chicken nuggets, fries, pizza. Not this meal. I told them to try what I ordered for them and if they didn’t like it, I would get them more pizza later. The eight-year-old wanted to know if I would get them more pizza even if they did like it. I said yes. Revolt averted.

The eight-year-old has become a soup connoisseur as a result of her other five cruises which she could remember, being more than three years old at the time. I ordered her the Beef Barley Soup with Root Vegetables. I just didn’t tell her the “root vegetable” part. I ordered the five-year-old the tomato basil even though I knew the eight-year-old would eat it.

For the main course, after I explained that they didn’t have to eat the entire loaf of bread and butter because more food was coming, I ordered steak medium and pork ribs.

Now let me just say that a formal dinning place setting is not necessarily kid friendly by its very nature. Once I deconstructed the extra fork, spoon, and knife sculpture created by the five-year-old, I could concentrate on how he was going to handle the stemmed water glass. Two hands were required but he needed three. Quick intervention prevented an eight-year-old and a five-year-old toast that would have shattered both glasses.

The eight-year-old gained etiquette points as she managed the soup spoon properly. This is a great improvement over drinking her soup through a straw during the first two cruises. Ok, she was only four and it was a moving ship. After the appetizer she declared the soup delicious as well as the tomato basil soup, my fruit salad, and my husband’s salad. However, she lot points when she dunked chunks of her bread in the beef barley soup to “sop up all the juice”. Baby steps, baby steps.

The five-year-old declared the ribs good and better than those at Diamond Jack’s Hotel and Casino. That garnered us strange looks from tables 378 and #377. However, when he announced quite loudly “This apple juice will get the poop a’goin”, he cleared tables #378 and #377.

Guess who’s NOT coming to dinner tomorrow?


Wanda said...

Too cute. Lucky children to be exposed to such culture. Not that they will remember it. You are one brave woman Jody.

Marti said...

Oh my God! ROTF!! I think you could make a funeral into funny writing, Jody! Wonderful!

Sharon said...

So funny!! You're so lucky to be able to take your children on such great trips. And - you are braver than I.

Jenny Watson said...

Ohhhh!!! This is great!