When my daughter was younger, she loved shrimp. She still does, but it was much more fun to watch her eat them when she was a three year old toddler. It was awesome to see this little teeny girl, busy with a plate of shrimp. She'd peel and peel, industriously stacking the shrimp on her plate - and when she'd finished with the peeling, she'd pop them all into her mouth as fast as she could.
One evening, we had a co worker of my husband's over for dinner. I placed plates of chilled shrimp in front of each person at the table, and went to sit at my husband's side. The adults were busy talking, and no one really paid much mind to the children, who were, miraculously, eating quietly and not interrupting. My little daughter, seated to our guest's right, reached over and pulled on his sleeve.
"Mister! Mister! Don't eat the tails!", she said, pointing to his plate - and when he looked down, it was to discover that she'd quietly eaten all of his shrimp, returning the empty tails to a neat pile on the plate.
We still laugh about this story every time we have shrimp. It's become a family joke, and it's one my daughter may never live down. She's already promised that she's not going to have shrimp served at her wedding reception - the teasing will be too great.
Kids are always full of fun at the dinner table. They can often help you turn a kitchen disaster or an embarrassment into a memorable experience. They may not be well behaved all of the time, but, often, in their misbehavior can appear some of the best family memories. Often, we strive to serve a "perfect" meal, but in the imperfections are often found the most fabulous times.
Have you ever experienced a funny “dinner disaster” with your family? What funny surprises have made mealtime a special occasion in your household?