Mealtimes in our household are quite civilized. A place where napkins are folded neatly in laps, conversation is in hushed tones, correct utensils are used, and items are passed politely.
Oh, sorry, I was daydreaming for a bit. Mealtime is more like this:
There is food in the hair, food on the floor, reminders of vegetables to be eaten and napkins to be used. "Please take a bite of this." "You'd better not spit that out." "Turn around in your chair." "Don't feed Stella."
While it is a long, sometimes painful, process, it's become a place to connect. A place for laughter and conversation. A place to hear funny stories from a four-year-old. A place to answer LOTS of questions and start traditions. We're making messes and memories around here.