Broccoli, Crocodiles & Table Manners, Oh My!

Our apartment is infested with crocodiles.

I kid you not.  They constantly swarm about, underfoot, and are especially troublesome at dinnertime.  This causes me no end of problems, as I can’t get Zanna to sit in her chair and eat, because she’s a bit terrified that a croc’ll come along and take a bite out of her.

Halle, from whose imagination these crocs sprang, fully formed (and was personally responsible for our previous shark infestation – do I have a future very expensive therapy bill to look forward to with this one?) does not help things, when Zanna finally sits cautiously down again, and Halle shrieks “LOOK!! The crocodile is going to eat you, Zanna!!”


Thankfully, Halle is a fully-trained crocodile handler and bravely wrestles the crocs back into their cages and locks them up, making the dinner table once more fit for public consumption.

Until the next time that Halle decides she needs a distraction in the form of her younger sister (by one minute) running around in tears, shrieking that she doesn’t want to be eaten by a crocodile.

Eventually, though, I manage to get them seated and eating, to the dulcet tones of mama’s litany of table manner cues:

If you leave the table to play, the food will go away.

Eat OVER the plate!

Stop waving that fork around!

Fork stays with the table!

Yes, you have to eat that or you won’t get dessert!

I’m sure all you parents out there know the drill, ad nauseum by now.

We’ve tried giving them small portions, just having them taste a new food, etc, but it’s still slow going on getting them to chow down properly.

At least they partly like broccoli, after much hard work on my part.  I say partly, because they won’t eat anything other than the very tippy top of the broccoli “tree”.  No matter how sweet and tender the stalk chunk is, they won’t touch it, once they’ve defoliated it.  And they won’t defoliate unless there’s a proper cheese sauce for dipping.

My husband, sorry to say, is a wimp when it comes to matters of new food eating.

I dish it out, the girls turn their noses up at it, and my husband helpfully chimes in: “They don’t like it, Mama.”

Whereupon I growl – “Of course not, dear! You’ve just told them they don’t like it!”

Then I stand over the girls and snarl “Eat. It. Now.”  Whereupon they taste it, proclaim it to be “Mm, delicious!”. and I get to look all smug and superior and tell my husband “I told you so!” while he (appropriately) proclaims “Mama is amazing!”

Yes.  Quite.

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3 thoughts on “Broccoli, Crocodiles & Table Manners, Oh My!

  1. Oh this post just makes me laugh out loud. My two are always teasing an pestering each other at the table too. We are past the age of sharks and crocodiles, but still very hard to eat a family meal and keep a straight face. Latest thing is pretending to make rude noises then blaming the other….
    Debbie O’Connor recently posted..Money Saving MummyMy Profile

  2. I’m laughing my head off at this, it brings back memories. My oldest son has about 5 things he likes to eat but it’s not my concern anymore because he’s an adult. My youngest son still only eats the head of the broccoli, but he’s going to Culinary school now so he can learn to cook it his own way. They do grow up!
    Cheryl Roth recently posted..AwardsMy Profile

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