Blog #22 Our Dysfunctional Family Dinners

In our family, we make a strong effort to have dinner together.  Everyone knows:  “IF YOU WANT TO KEEP YOUR CHILD FROM GETTING INTO TROUBLE, family mealtimes are a great place to start.”  This is a direct quote from a study done at Rutgers (http://njaes.rutgers.edu/pubs/visions/vis-21-2.pdf).

So we try our best to eat dinner as a family.  However, two weeks ago, our 13 yr old daughter LeeAnna told us how she described our ‘dysfunctional family dinners’ to her teacher at school.  I literally had no idea that the dinners were anything other than normal.  And fun.  And delicious.  (okay, maybe not technically delicious, but usually edible).

I ask LeeAnna what makes our dinners so dysfunctional.  Her response: “Are you serious?”  So here is a typical glimpse into one of the Marra Family Meals and you can judge for yourself:

Me: Everyone, please come eat! I’ve just finished cooking a gourmet meal!

Everyone sits at the kitchen table and we say grace.  Well, some of say grace as fast as we can, some try to say it backwards, some don’t talk at all, but grace gets said nonetheless.

Me: How was school, my precious children?

Ethan (15 yr old son): Every bit of outstanding.

LeeAnna: Whatever.

Nick (6 yr old son): I think it was good.  And by the way, LeeAnna, you stink.

Me: Nick, do not pick on your sister. She doesn’t stink.

LeeAnna:  Yeah, Nick you little turd.  Stop talking about me.  And get your foot off the table.

Ethan: Today we learned about the constitution.  (Actually he is in AP History, so he learns a ton about the constitution).

Bill:  The Constitution is fine.  It does not need changed.

Me:  You are correct, dear husband.*

*Actually, that’s not what I said, but I thought Bill would like to see those words written down since I rarely say them, especially during election season!

Me: (for real this time): How can you think the Constitution, which was written over 200 years ago, does not need updated?  This was before TV, before the internet….

Ethan:  Mom, you know nothing.  About anything.  I’m a super smart teenager and you are a dumb old lady  (paraphrased slightly).

LeeAnna:  As usual, I have to agree with Ethan.

Nick: LeeAnna, you are grounded for life.

LeeAnna:  What did I do?

Nick: You agreed with Ethan.

Bella (family dog):  woof

Bill:  Quit begging, Bella.

Me: Yeah Bella, don’t beg. (and I may or may not secretly throw her a piece of chicken).

LeeAnna: I can’t eat any more.  (She has eaten 4 bites).

Nick: Me neither. I’m full.  Can I have a cookie?

Me: Whose turn is it to do the dishes?

Everyone at the same time: Not mine.

Insert a 10 minute fight about dishes here.

Then it usually ends with a big group hug.   : )

Have a great day and a good dinner!

~Kacey

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