Dare I admit that the first thirty-seconds of mealtime at our house is a terrible, terrible picture of the way things really are in my house? I’ve been fielding comments in light of my two recent video posts (more face-to-face than written here on my blog) about how “cute,” “sweet,” and “well-mannered,” my children are. This, because we tend to set a few boundaries when it comes to talking to God.

I feel sort of obligated to show a little more reality behind the Baptist facade. And not just in my children.

While growing up, a frequent dinner table comment of my mother’s went something like this: “If you were having dinner at the Queen’s table would you ______?? [Here, insert any number of behaviors, table manners, or the wearing of appropriate attire.]

When it comes to knowledge of correct fork and knife procedure (for up to five forks in one sitting), chewing with our mouths closed, or using the correct bread plate, the Paulus children are ready to eat dinner at Buckingham Palace. And as long as we only eat, and never speak, we’ll probably be allowed to stay. Because the truth is (and any one of my high school friends who ever ate dinner at my parents’ house can attest to this), discussion of “sinkers and floaters” was among the tamer of Paulus family dinner table conversation.

And my mother was not innocent.

Even with that, I somewhat hesitate to publish the following, as I’m afraid it is not evidence of table manners (nor parenting) at its finest. But, in a manner of speaking, it is evidence of a comfort zone to which I feel I still belong.

A few weeks ago I made enough butternut squash soup to feed a football team. I ate half of it myself while home alone on Labor Day and froze the other half for an easy meal later.

I thought it was delicious.

My children, did not.

Since its debut, the squash soup has made its way into several dinner table conversations.

Here is a sampling of our version of “Would You Rather,” (which we’ve simplified by simply yelling, “Choose!”). Though Carter does not appear to fully understand the rules of the game, the message is loud and clear.

By the next clip, you will note that Carter is more than fully aware of the rules. Further, it might be helpful to understand here that “May-May” is a real dog (unlike the dogs and kitties Carter frequently thanks God for in her prayers). I apologize for my lack of editing skills, or I might have cut the video off at about twenty-one seconds. As it stands, the conversation only goes downhill from “squash soup.”

This is reality people.

Take it or leave it.

Just know the invite for dinner at our house is always open, no promises for or against squash soup or poop.

Would You Rather: Bathroom Talk at the Dinner Table

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