January 22, 2010

It's the little things

I try and instill good manners in my children.

It's a lot harder than it sounds.

"We only eat food at the table," I remind.

"Inside voices, please." I beg.

Some days are better than others.

For mom and children alike.

Tonight we had a friend visit us.

You see, we have a very best friend that lives just three doors down from us.

Steven is an only child, and he lives with his mother and his grandmother.

They are truly some of the nicest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.

Everyday, Steven gets off the bus with Thaddeus, and together, we all walk home.

Steven's lives just three doors down.

Three full doors before ours.

And everyday, my children, all four of them, stop three doors early, wave goodbye, and play with Steven.

I've talked to his mother. Told her she didn't have to let them in.

But she loves my kids.

Oh, does she ever love them.

So every afternoon, I have an hour or so to myself from the time the bus lets off, 'til the DadGuy gets home from work.

And this afternoon, as the troupe of children ran between houses, an invitation was made.

Thaddeus and Blayne began to tell Steven about Friday Night at the Bingham's.

Because as every good Bingham knows, Friday night means: Pizza, PJ's, Popcorn, and Movies.

"And if we do all our chores, my dad lets us drink some of his pop!"

"And we get to stay up til 8:30!"

Yes, Friday night tradition is sacred in our home.

So an invitation was offered.

And an invitation was accepted.

We set an extra spot at the table.

We tried to steer the conversation away from bodily functions, which are so amusing to, well, definitely everyone under the age of six.

And I reminded all of these shortlings,

That we are to sit on our bottoms to eat.

We made it through dinner, mostly unscathed.

There was one major spill, but given the odds, we were pleased.

We hiked back downstairs to put on a movie.

Thirty minutes into the show, I went back up to the kitchen to fetch the treats.

Popcorn and Orange Julius.

(I make a KILLER Orange Julius.)

I brought these treats back downstairs, and proceeded to save people's drinks for the next thirty minutes.

When I just couldn't stand to see them dancing around the still full cups anymore, I collected them to take back upstairs.

I was thinking to myself, "At least no one spilled."

And then I tripped.

On the stairs.

And the orange julius' and popcorn went flying.

On the walls.

On the railing.

On the picture frames.

And on me.

The kids heard the commotion and they came a'running.

They surveyed the mess.

And then they appraised me.

"Mom, that is why we only drink things at the table," they said.

One can't help but see the wisdom in those words.