Tuesday, March 15, 2016

5 Dinner Table Rules According to My Kids

I have my own dinner rules. No hitting. No biting anything but food. If you don’t eat the crust of your pizza, dad gets first dibs. Stevie has her own rules. It’s ok to spill, but no doing it on purpose. Try everything on your plate before you get seconds. No electronics at the table. Whoever sat down first has to be the one to get up and get the kids more water when they eventually ask.
Our kids have rules too. They aren’t written anywhere. They are communicated through tears, screams, laughter, or worst of all, politely asking me to fix whatever rule was broken… over and over and over until I either fix it or go insane and die.

1. All Water Must Contain Broken and Fixed Ice  

We have been blessed enough to not have to bring juice and soda into our dinner table rotation. We just don’t keep it in the house. Our dinner offerings for refreshments are milk or water. Ever since our daughter discovered that there are two settings on the ice dispenser ALL water MUST have both “broken” and “fixed” ice. She doesn’t demand that this happens, she orders it like it as an item on a menu.

Me: What do you guys want to drink?

Duchess: Yes. Thank you. I would like a pink princess cup of water with broken and fixed ice please.”


Whatever she wants, her little brother wants too.


2. Whatever one kid gets, the other kid must also get. 

I learned a while ago to buy two of everything. We have two blue bowls, and two pink bowls. We have two princess cups and two monster cups. There is no gender assignment to our dishes, regardless of what culture dictates. Captain doesn’t want “boy” plates and Duchess doesn’t want “girl” plates. Duchess wants what Captain has and vice-versa. And GOD FORBID one of the matching dishes is dirty and they have to eat off mismatched dishware. Then Ms. Duchess gets all polite again


Me: Buddy, the other princess glass is dirty.

Duchess: Daddy, would you mind taking the dirty princess glass out of the dishwasher and using that brush you use in the sink to wash it for Captain. I think that would make him happy.

Me: Nope. He can drink out of the monster glass.


Duchess: Daddy, remember when you washed that other cup for me that one time. It was really quick. Will you wash the cup for Captain?

And on and on it goes. Yelling, politeness. Yelling, politeness. And then I wash the cup.

3. If the kids find a word in their Campbell’s Condensed Chicken Alphabet Soup, they get to fish the letters out of their soup with their hands and spell it on the table. 

They call it “letter soup” and while Campbell’s Soup is usually a quick and easy meal to whip up at the end of a long day, evenings with “letter soup” are always evenings with baths. Why? Because this happens.

Stevie and I have both fought this one, but by the time we catch on to what is happening it is too late. The handful of soup is already on the table. The letters are already spelling “Mom” or “Dad” and how sweet is that?? They spelled mom and dad with their soup letters.

Granted, that is Duchess. Captain also likes to spell with his soup. He spells “HM(Pea)L(Carrot)(Squished unidentifiable letter)” But whatever Duchess does… you know how it goes.


It is almost indescribable how much my kids love bread. You know how you hear those stories of really unfortunate families that have to survive off of bread and water. My kids would be so happy if every meal was bread and water. That is their dream meal. At gymnastics the other day my daughter’s teacher asked all the kids what their favorite food was and my kid said bread. Not bread with butter. Not bread with cheese and turkey in between. Bread.

Again, this is my fault. I also love bread. When I was little I used to tell my mom that when I grew up and moved out of the house the first thing I was going to do was buy a loaf of garlic bread and eat THE WHOLE THING! And you know what? I did. And you know what else? It. Was. Glorious.

5. If you fart or burp at the table, you must blame the dog. 

So this is totally my fault. I did it once and everyone laughed really hard. OK… I did it like five times because the kids laughed really hard every time. Then Duchess did it and we laughed really hard because it is cute when our kids imitate us. Then Captain did it. Then it was a thing. Stevie wants me to tell you that she has never done it. Stevie has never done it. (She totally does it. She also can’t read things I put in parenthesis.)

I know it’s not the most polite thing, but there is no going back at this point. If you burp or fart at the table you yell “RILEY!!” And then everyone laughs.

And then we have dessert… sometimes. Not every time.

- John

Wait! One more thing! 

Hey guys! This is my final post in my series for Campbell’s Soup and their #RealRealLife campaign. I want to thank the Campbell’s crew for welcoming me into their family and being great patrons of the blog. I love it when a brand contacts me to sponsor Ask Your Dad and I can open my cupboard and find their product already there. Another great part about brands I like and trust sponsoring my content from time to time is that I get to keep writing this blog and providing it to all of you for free. That means a lot to me. Anyway. Thank you, and thank you Campbell’s. Now everyone go eat soup!! 

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