Dinnertime at our house is loud and messy. I would call it a feeding frenzy but since I have actually fed sharks at the aquarium, I know the sharks are much, much calmer. It's probably the peak of my stress for the day, because everyone is tired, hungry, and cranky. Plus at this particular stage of development, the children each require a different meal.
Nugget: a version of what we are having but with ingredients separated for our "no-sauce-don't-let-the-meat-touch-the-noodles" kinda guy.
Spork: usually what we are having, in a scary-large portion, but cut up teeny-tiny, and messy things still need to be delivered to his mouth with an adult's help
Tater: toothless wonder still struggles to gum down most foods, so she needs a puree (when people ask if I make my own, I have to suppress the urge to laugh because I don't even have time to pee) then close supervision while she attempts to chew a few molecules of what we're having.
Hubby: comes home (conveniently) after the children have finished, so I try to keep him a hot plate or sometimes I need to make his fresh right when the babies have been released from the bondage of high chairs
Me: I sit between the babies to dole out spoonfuls and retrieve sippy cups, and try to shovel in my own food in between bites.
Our table conversation last night, pretty typical
M: Tell me your favorite thing that happened at school today.
N: Well, I don't really remem...
S: (runs out of food) Neeeyaaaaahhhh! Mooorrree, more, more, Mah!
(I give Spork seconds)
S: Nom, nom, nom, nom (seriously, he makes loud nom-ing noises)
N: Mommy! You forgot my milk!
M: (sigh) You're right, but can we try that again with manners?
N: (pouts) Milk, please.
(I give the Nugget his milk)
T: (dropped sippy cup) Wah! Wah!
S: More, more, more, Mah!
N: Mommy! Mommy! (shrieks) I want to tell you something! Spork is disgusting right now (oh, he definitely is - food everywhere), and I don't want to see that.
S: (waves at the Nugget and giggles)
M: Just look at your own food then, and I'll put this cereal box in between you so don't have to look at S. You know you ate that way when you were a baby too. Babies sure are messy.
N: It's really yucky! And I can still see him. It's making me cough.
T: (all done, wants to get down) Wah! Wah!
S: More! More! More! Mah! (tears)
N: (Head in hands) I just want to have a quiet dinner.