December 23rd, 2007

Monday, December 24

Panel 1: Oh lord. Oh lord almighty. Where is Lynn going with this. Is this because they think of April as a child? Or is she seen as a quasi-adult and therefore the default babysitter? Or is it because she won't be missed at the table?

The "kids' table" thing is a very sticky wicket. My parents never did that, whether I was the only kid or one of several. They wanted me to learn good table manners, and presumed that other kids' parents felt the same. It's hard to emulate adults behavior if you're in the other room from them. At my aunts' house they did do kids' table, but I was okay with that because the ratio of kids to adults was so high. Personally, I'm not okay with kids' table unless it's like at my aunts' house. If you really can't feed everyone at the same table, there has to be some kind of division. But unless we're talking about an infant who has to be fed, 3 kids do not need to be separate from 11 adults.

The question is, are there 11 adults, or only 10? Some people would see April as being in a gray area. As rambunctious as the Patterspawn are, I think they do need supervision if they're going to be separate. And I can see why Deanna would want a break from mom-duties and to visit with family. But then who leaves? I'm thinking John, Mira or Wilf, since they're the grandparents, and g-p's are often able to get kids to behave when Mom and Dad are burnt out. Or the schoolteacher. If Liz starts whining about how she's with kids all day, she should be reminded that she's only been teaching for 3 1/2 years (right?) and she should still have plenty of stamina. Plus, it would give her more bonding time with Francie. One of the Kool-Aiders said that when Liz hugged Francie, she "began to become a mother." If so, then she has a journey of many miles after that first step.

Panel 2: Ooh she's rolling her eyes what a brat. Yeah, Deanna; play up to her and tell her how grown-up she is. If she's so responsible and adult, why can't she prove that by mingling with the adults? For a CHANGE.

Panel 3: Yeah, why should she mind. Kool-Aiders, can you see the pain on her face?

Panel 4: Oh, ha ha! The adult world is not as exciting as she thinks it is! She was just putting on an act, and deep down she really is still a kid! This tastes funny; are you sure it's Orange Crush?

Seriously, if they choose the next-youngest person for the kids' table, it IS a putdown. I'm sure it's an unconscious one; Deanna is not deliberately mean. But the jazz about supervising is just a sop. Deanna started out with the crowding in the dining room, and that's what it's about. When it's time to jettison, you choose the least liked person in the group. (Which still does not rule out John, Mira or Wilf.)