Wednesday, 23 September 2009

No elbows on the table!!

While I was away for my birthday weekend, we allowed daughter to eat with us in the main hotel restaurant on the night of my actual birthday for a special treat. Now, this was a silver service, very posh restaurant in a four star Country House Hotel. Luckily, it was a family friendly hotel and it was okay for her to eat with us, but that night there were no other children in the restaurant.

Oh no! No other children. Just a lot of adults wanting a quiet dinner and there was I, walking in with my five year old daughter. How would she behave?

Was I daunted?

Well, a little.

But the thing is, I have always insisted on decent table manners with daughter. I get it from my dad. He always insisted on good table manners. He said that if we had good table manners at home, we wouldn't forget when we were out. And to be honest, my mum and dad were often complimented on how well behaved my brother and I were in restaurants. I wanted the same with my daughter.

But there is such a lot to learn:

Don't put your elbows on the table.

Don't talk with your mouth full.

Only put onto your fork what will fit into your mouth.

Never, ever, ever put your knife in your mouth!

Never use your fork as a shovel.

Use your dessert fork, not your finger!

Sip your drink.

Cut food into mouth size pieces.

Place cutlery together on your plate at the end of the meal.

Ask permission to leave the table.

Wait until everyone has finished before you ask permission to leave the table!

And the list goes on.

So how did daughter manage?

Well, she did extremely well. She sat still in her seat, she ate beautifully and she made polite conversation. I was so proud.


I knocked my menu onto the floor taking half my cutlery with it!!

Can't take me anywhere!


Nicol said...

I totally agree with the table manners. It's something that I am currently working on with Livy. She's only 2, but I still expect her to be polite. One of my biggest pet peeves when I go to a restaurant is other people's children starring at us or turning around in their chairs to stare. It drives me crazy and I will not allow Livy to do it. Congrats on the birthday and a nice dinner!

Maggie May said...

At the other end of the scale are the children having school dinners! Not nice to watch!

Glad you have brought up your daughter to have manners. Well worth the effort.

Kelloggsville said...

hey - isn't great when things work out so well, it just adds to the special memory and some time in the future you will have the "that was a great evening and I was so proud of you" conflab - lovely :0)

Working Mum said...

Nicol - I wouldn't expect anything less from you and Livy. I'm sure she is perfectly behaved when you eat out.

Maggie - I can't bear being on dinner duty at school; it puts me off my dinner! I'm sure those children can't eat like that at home, can they?

Kelloggsville - I think you are right, I will be banking that memory and returning to it.

Iota said...

I always tell my kids "if I don't teach you table manners, no-one else will".

Ladybird World Mother said...

!!! Love it. You letting the side down, and daughter being a Total Angel!! What a sweetheart she must have looked, being on Best Behaviour... well done MASSIVELY on having a child who can do that. Mine are pretty good, but we occasionally have a teeth gnashing moment... x

Expat mum said...

God you'd have a fit over here. First they do the thing where no matter how old they are, everything gets cut into small pieces and then eaten with a fork. Sometimes knives aren't even served and you have to cut things with the side of your fork.
Then they don't put knife and fork together to indicate being finished. I have had waiters try to take my plate away when I'm still holding my utensils.
And the list goes on.

rosiero said...

Ah bless her. Naughty mum, though, for showing her up!!!! Thank you for your helpful comments on my post today.

scaryazeri said...

and never- ever!!!take a fallen hair off your sleeve, and drop it on the floor! LOL ( an internal joke, eh)
Hard to be civilized when you are foreign. Different cultures have such different understanding of an etiquette!

kestrel said...

Getting the elbows off the table is the hardest. Both my husband and daughter seem to have a flair for doing this - the elbows sort of creep up and suddenly they are comfortably there. I am still trying. Good on Livy - you must be so proud of her

BareNakedMummy said...

I'm glad she was good, still trying to persuade both mine that eating with fingers is not the done thing. Love your blog, and there's a prize for you over at mine!