We’re usually halfway to the table, carrying the dinner plates or the glasses of milk and water, when our three-year-old begs to go first.
“Please can I talk about my day now?”
When we sit down and agree that she can kick things off, her little eyes look up to the ceiling as if she’s gathering her thoughts in a big bundle — the same way she scoops all of her Barbies into her arms. She loves being the first one to tell us about every detail of her daily adventures.
“Wellllll …” she begins slowly. “Did I have preschool today?” Her memories, while all very exciting, sometimes need to be reminded of what happened on this particular day.
“No, it wasn’t a preschool day,” we’ll prompt her gently. “You had ballet.”
“Ohhhhhhh. Yes.” She’ll pause again and then start at the very beginning, nice and slow. “First … I walk Dexter to da bus stop. Then I eat my bweckfast and then I go to dance cass. And Miss Mehwissa pay the music and we go ‘Eeeeeeeeeeh!’” There are a lot of hand motions in her stories, and often she’ll jump out of her seat to show us exactly how something happened.
And, slowly over the course of 30 or 40 minutes, we will hear about everyone’s day in shimmering, colourful detail.
We used to talk about our day casually, over dinner, but I got more intentional about it once our oldest started Primary in September. In addition to our regular post-school chat (er, interrogation) I wanted a formal chance for all four of us to hear about what happened in each other’s lives that day. Eating dinner together is important! Talking together over dinner is important! We will be the happy family of four just like the one smiling on the box of frozen pizza!