Thursday, July 31, 2008

Barbaric Table Manners

I remember when I was single or married without children and out at a restaurant and a few tables over witnessing a family with a 2 year old who is acting obnoxious and making a huge mess with his food and thinking - "Wow, they really should get control of their child." Well, I have come to the realization that the table has turned and people probably think that of us. The last 6 weeks or so Jonah has really been acting out more and coming up with new habits that I'm not very proud of. Tonight we went out to a Mexican restaurant where kids eat free Mon- Thurs. It all started innocently enough with Jonah dipping the chips in the salsa, sucking the salsa off and redipping the chip - same chip several times. (Papaw would love that one. Jonah likes to do the same thing with french fries in ketchup.) That got boring, so he took a chip and munched it very quickly and systematically and let it fall out of his mouth onto the table - (I think The Cookie Monster may not be the best role model; may have to cover his eyes during that part of Sesame Street from now on.) Then when his plate of quesadilla with rice and beans came, he took the huge spoon they brought with his plate (what were they thinking?) and scooped up a huge spoonful of rice and brought it to his mouth where a small portion went into his mouth and the rest into his lap. He apparently decides he doesn't really like the rice for consumption purposes but enjoys the touch and feel of it and brings other spoonfuls up to his mouth only to touch it to his tongue and spit it back out onto his lap. At one point, Jonah starts picking up the rice and beans with his hands and would have started slinging it if I hadn't intervened with baby wipes and took away his plate of fun. Later he drank some water and then let it slowly pour back out of his mouth -a favorite new past time at every meal these days - his way of playing with water despite having a secure lid on his cup. Needless to say, there was a huge mess of rice sprinkled on the floor around our table and we felt aweful for person who had to clean it up. No doubt she was thinking - "They really should control their child better."
It's funny how we did not teach Jonah any of these behaviors but are faced with the seeming insurmountable task of teaching our brutish boy some table manners. I hope all this gross behavior is typical 2 year old stuff; but I have the sneaking feeling some of it is typical BOY behavior and may last beyond the 'Terrible Twos'.
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