No Phones at the Table

“No phones at the table.”

That’s my quote. My husband knows it. My kids know it. Even our extended family is aware of it.

Why? You may ask.

Why not?

I grew up in a house where family dinner time meant something. It was a time to talk about your day or any other topic you had on your mind. It was the one time of day when everyone was together, even just for a short amount of time. It wasn’t the time of day to check your Facebook or text messages. Granted, they didn’t exist then (geez I’m old), but you get my point.

Sad to say, family dinner time is pretty much non-existent in many households today. Opposite and crazy work schedules can make family meals impossible. For others, it’s overscheduling ourselves or our family that seems to be the problem. Whatever the case, dinner time ain’t what it used to be. I’m sure many of you agree.

That’s even more reason why we should give our phones a little nappy when actually sit down to dinner with the family. That Facebook video doesn’t need to be watched now. It doesn’t ever need to be watched if you ask me, but I digress. Twitter will still be there in a half hour. That text message that’s dinging incessantly will eventually go away. Don’t worry, it will be waiting for you when you’re done eating your mashed potatoes and corn.

Trust me, it’s hard to resist the urge to set your phone a place at the table. Just because I made the rule doesn’t mean it’s easy for me to follow. I really don’t know why our phones have such a hold over us. It’s an addiction. It’s hard to accept the fact that our phones can wait.

I don’t think the same can be said about our kids or spouses. A little piece of me cringes when parents tell their kids to hold on to that great story they are bursting to tell so that they can finish a text or finish watching a video. The next time, that child may not want to tell their story. Think about that the next time your text messages dings.

So, if you ever have dinner at my house, remember no phones at the table. If you forget, don’t worry, my kids will remind you. They know the rule so well that their play phones don’t even make it over!

How about you? Do you have similar dinner time rules?



Is Chivalry Dead?

  It seems this summer a lot of my dilemmas and drama stems from trips to the beach. My most recent visit had me asking…is chivalry dead? Here’s the story…For some of us, putting up a beach umbrella is not easy. If you think it is, then good for you. Add a pregnant belly and a rambuncious almost two year-old child and it doesn’t get any easier. During a visit to my local beach, my 16-year-old niece and I fought to get the umbrella in the sand. We dug and dug using our plastic shovels and tried to get it to stay. When that didn’t work we got pails of water to make a “sand cement”. We thought that was the key. And it was….for all of 5 minutes. The umbrella blew away. We ran after it. While this whole scenario was playing out, one guy in his twenties was sitting a few feet away witnessing the whole thing while tanning in his chair. Do you think he got up to help? Nope. There was another older man sitting on the other side. Surely he must have heard me cursing the sand. Do you think he got up to help? Nope. So, we decided not to try again and just surrender to the sun. I slopped on another layer of sunscreen on myself and my daughter. I was more concerned about the sun exposure to my daughter seeing that she already has a better tan than me this summer. Definitely not my genes. Nonetheless, it appeared as though we would never got our umbrella up, so extra sunscreen it was.
   After looking around and noticing I was getting no love while the sun was beating on my daughter, I looked in the horizon. At last…my savior was riding in on an ATV. No, it wasn’t David Hasselhoff from “Baywatch”, but two local cops on the beach patrol beat. They must be itching for something to do seeing that patrolling the beach in an ATV can’t be that hard. Although they didn’t see all the trouble we went through, I thought maybe they would help if they saw the umbrella lying in the sand. Silly me. They were talking to one another, totally engrossed in their conversation when they shifted the ATV in park and crossed the street to get something to eat before I could get my pregnant butt off the sand chair to ask for help.
  I told my niece I would ask them when they got back, as the umbrella continued to protect the sand from the beating sun. But, to be honest, by the time I turned around, they were already revving their engine, still engrossed in their conversation. I felt defeated, but too annoyed to try to rush to stop them and ask for help. So, I did what anyone else would do. I went on Facebook and complained about it. I got some funny responses. All the while, my daughter didn’t seem to mind the sun, but it bothered me that she was there without shade.  Then I noticed a guy who drove up to the shore on his jet ski. He was talking to some women who had kids ( minus an umbrella I may add, maybe they just didn’t even bother with the aggravation). I scoped him out to make sure he wasn’t a wack-a-do. My nutso sensor didn’t ring, so I got up and approached him. I said, “Excuse me, do you think you can help us get our beach umbrella up so my daughter can play in the shade? It’s kinda hard when it’s hot out and you’re pregnant.” Yeah, I played the pregnant card, so sue me. He said sure and came right over.
  I started telling him about my whole ordeal. He agreed that some people are really rude. He also admitted that he had trouble last week getting his umbrella to stay in the sand. He dug and dug, spending quite awhile to get it all ready…(and even used our sand cement idea). Then wa-la…our umbrella was up, there was shade, I was happy! I thanked him over and over again as he hopped on his jet ski into the sound, only to come ashore some other day to help a pregnant damsel in distress.(ok, maybe a little dramatic there) I’ll have you know, while this was going on, the other guy sitting around, the Jersey Shore wanna-be, was still sitting there working on his tan. The older guy had left at this point. Word to the wise…chivalry goes a long way, a tan fades in weeks.