Monday, 19 September 2011

The Table

Oh my...  the table.  Our kitchen table is "work central" for close to 16 hours/day.  We share meals there naturally, but also, we complete school lessons at it, we do art projects there, we prep food on it, fold clean laundry, share conversation, sip tea...  you get the idea.  It's basically full of "stuff" from dawn to dusk.  

Therin lies the problem...

This is a picture taken when the kids dashed outside suddenly to chase a fox away from the yard.  Just keepin' it real, folks...  this is NOT staged (who would stage THIS!?).

Clockwise from the top:

1) a math game (school with the 2 younger kids)
2) remnants of a snack (eaten while I read aloud to them)
3) a part of a balloon animal (the rest got popped by the cat)
4) papers for schooling
5) label maker for organizing supplies
6) sketching pencils in case from our nature study (we were sketching the Blotched Tiger Salamander that we found in back of our house that morning )

7) binoculars to keep an eye out across the road for wildlife - we see animals every day!
8) a coloured rainbow picture done just for me by sweet as pie 8 year old
9) liquid paper because she slipped and wanted to cover up a little mistake
10) school books
11) pea pods - we were shelling peas and eating them raw while working on school :)
12) our beloved Emma Bridgewater Speckled Hen plate - snack eaten
13) water cup
14) said peas
15) and dead centre - candles from last night's supper (what a lovely touch, don't you think, lol)

So - the table pretty much looks like that (or variations of it) all day long.  We clear it, it gets full.  We clear it again and it fills up.  I have nothing against that really, it's all good stuff that goes on there - learning, eating, conversation, art, fun and lots of laughter...  It's just that when the table is constantly full of stuff, my mind feels so cluttered and I feel stressed and unorganized.  Serving meals becomes hard...  rallying everyone to clear it and set it for supper...

I did a little experiment today :)  I figured that if I instigated a little bit of seasonal table decorating, the kids would be more likely to put things away immediately when finished.  I also bet that "I" would be motivated to do the same :)  So, I started to work on putting the fall display together for the table this morning and the kids excitedly joined in. Crabapples are a favourite fall snack, the wee pumpkins are from our garden and the darling pinecone candles were bought in new condition months ago for pennies at the thrift store.  I had them squirrelled away until today!  We all (inspired) cleared the table, put everything away and wiped it down well.

Wow!  Great reaction from the kids...  "Hey, Mom" they said "let's keep the table like this - it looks really good without all the stuff on it", to which I replied (ever so calmly) "what great idea!".

If they only knew....  :)


  1. This looks like our table all the time. Well, it looks like most horizontal surfaces at our house. It's only me and my husband and I still can't seem to keep it cleared. I have given up trying. It is just the way it is. Emily

  2. Ha! You should add "psychologist" to your description! Aren't kids genuinely good! I guess we all are just such social beings we want to be in the hub of things. I always did my homework at the kitchen table when I was young, and I always snacked while doing it. love,andrea

  3. I hear you on this one! I don't mind the clutter (usually) as I figure they're keeping themselves busy and brains thinking. Dinnertime clearing is a struggle though.

    I have to say..this book, Little Black, A Pony was my favourite childhood book!! I came across it a few months ago in the second hand shop and picked it up for my daughters, the middle one LOVES it. So sad, poor lonely Little Black always made me choke up but then he saves Big Red and all is well again! Great book and wonderful memories there, thanks!