Family Dinner or Wild Bachelor Party?

Ah...just a little relaxing family time with good food and formal wear.

Ah...just a little relaxing family time with good food and formal wear.

When you have three little kids, family dinner is a much better idea in theory than in practice.

Perhaps we’re just doing it wrong and we have no control over our children—I am more than certain this is what the internet will think—but our family dinners tend to be more wild bachelor party and less Leave It To Beaver.

First, there’s always that one guy who shows up naked for some reason. You know the guy. He strolls up all nonchalant, like, “Alright, let’s eat.” And everybody looks at him kind of sideways, not wanting to say anything. Furtive glances are exchanged and there is a lot of head shaking. And then you collectively shrug your shoulders as if to say, “Oh well, I guess this is how it’s going to go down,” because trying to remedy the situation would be too exhausting. So, naked guy slides up to the table and starts chowing down on plain tortillas and corn and some yogurt or something.

Second, you just know that someone is going to end up walking around on the table, knocking over everyone’s drinks. What a disaster. And now the plain tortillas that you spent five seconds taking out of the bag and microwaving are ruined. Ruined! All that hard work wasted.

animal on table.gif

Last comes the yelling. “Don’t yell at the table!” you yell to drown out all the other yelling.

Wait, now it’s time to gather up all your bowls, plates, and cups and hold them up in the air again because that one person managed to get back on the table. How did that happen even after you turned all the chairs upside down? On the plus side, this bit of plasticware juggling usually provides a short respite from the yelling. At least until someone drops something. And then, well, it’s best to just retreat to the kitchen, move some dishes from one place to another, and let the chips fall where they may (literal chips, of course, and they will fall on the floor).

All in all, it’s a wonderful and relaxing seven minutes of family bonding time!

Whether it’s exactly like a wild bachelor party, I’m not sure. My real-life experience with bachelor parties is limited to one: my own. My bachelor party took place in my small hometown’s bowling alley on a middle school bowling night and, including me, there were three people there. We bowled two, maybe three games as the strobe lights danced around us. Everyone remained fully clothed because clothing is strongly recommended at our bowling alley.

When we finished bowling, we were like, “Well, guess it’s time to go home now.” And that’s exactly what we did. It was an epic night.

Not quite as wild as family dinner night, but what is?


If you love this post, I have some good news. My book, Fatherhood: Dispatches From the Early Years, is available at Amazon. And if you haven’t, don’t forget to like my Facebook page.