Once upon a time supper-time was bland, dull, boring. No, I'm not referring to the food itself (I play with too many recipes for that to ever happen). I'm talking about the small talk around the dinner table.
Our conversations have included some bizarre language spoken by my oldest. Some call it computer-speak, I call it gibberish. Matthew rattles on and on about gigabits, and apparently some new and improved storage terms, and various other words that I can't remember as soon as they are spoken. Now don't get me wrong, at no time does Matthew actually think I understand him. He tells me that I seem to follow along very briefly before a glaze comes across my eyes and I develop a vacant, long-distance stare. That's when he knows he has lost me, despite my head-nodding and occasional words of agreement.
With the rest of my gang consisting of four teens and a tween, much of our other conversations center around school and arguments. Often arguments about school. Mostly involving differing opinions of teachers or classes. Also, with so many of us surrounding the table, there are generally two or more conversations criss-crossing each other. Growing up in an Irish family I am used to this but I thought maybe it would be nice to see if suppertime could be reduced to a dull roar.
Enter "Table Topics". I found this on the internet and couldn't resist. Table Topics consists of several cards which come in a clear box. Each card has a thought-provoking question on it like: If you could talk to animals what would you try to find out? Is it more fun to be a parent or a child? What is your favorite family tradition? This has turned into so much fun and we have learned a lot about how the others think and feel.
Is that good enough for this Mom? No. I was cleaning out a cabinet and found some old Mad-Lib books. I dropped them on the table and left them there next to the Table Topics and they have now become part of supper-time fun. Andrew in particular has become a big fan. I love that my kids are actually learning the difference between an adverb and an adjective. Perhaps we can progress to my favourite High School English activity, sentence diagramming. Seriously, it was. I know. Don't judge me. Mad-Libs began simple enough. The blanks were filled in by the first words that came to mind but, as with all rowdy families (and mine is one of those) just giving an answer wasn't good enough. We began coming up with weirder and nonsensical words to make the final stories totally off the wall. The weirder, the better and anything to create a laugh. Which in my household is of utmost importance.
Will this be a supper-time staple for now on? Perhaps. But now that we've discovered how much fun we can have, there is nothing stopping us from looking for newer and better mealtime entertainment.