Growing up eating together as a family at the table was a complete rarity. My father never sat down and ate with us, so we often all ate in front of the TV. On days when we all did sit together, it was for a "special occasion".
I vividly remember one day when my mother bought shrimp for dinner. I was probably no more than 7 or 8. I was sooo excited; we were going to have a "fancy" dinner and we were all going to eat together...at the table. I helped my mom set the table and coaxed my dad out of his room and away from the television. We all finally sat down and when I went to pull my chair in, I grabbed a hold of the table and pulled. This was an old rickety table so when I did this the whole thing shook and my milk ended up spilling everywhere. My dad blew up. Freaked out on me. Yelled at me and humiliated me. He then grabbed his plate, went to his room and slammed the door. I had ruined our family dinner. Ruined it.
Because of this and many other similar events, my father is no longer a part of my life. More importantly I try try try to never yell at Joaquin like my dad yelled at me, especially for accidents like spilling things. I try and make it very matter of fact, oh well, let's clean it up, kind of thing. It's hard not to get frustrated sometimes. But I have to try.
Another big thing that came from this was my want to have family meals, at a table, regularly.
I have failed horribly at this. Horribly.
We have such a tiny space for our "dining area" it's silly. When it was just Dan and I, it was romantic and cute. We would squeeze in and have sweet intimate meals together. Now with three of us, it's just not possible. When the three of cram ourselves in that small space it's nearly claustrophobic. So, we have fallen into the trap of eating meals in front of the TV.
I hate it. I feel like a failure every time I set Joaquin down to eat in front of the television. What bothers me most, is that he is getting used to it. It's now a habit for him and I caused it.
I dream of the day of having a space large enough for a large dining table where we can all sit and eat together. I drool over dining tables in stores and catalogs.
This morning I had had enough. It was just Joaquin and I for breakfast since Dan had to work. I made a decision. Anytime it's just the two of us, we're eating at the table.
Here he is this morning enjoying the view and a cup of chamomile tea. And can you guess what those towels on the floor were for? Yep, he spilled his tea. No biggie, right?
I just have to fix this now, before it becomes too much of a habit for him. I just hope I can follow through.