A Tweet alerted me to the fact that I didn't say anything in Festive post #1, Hosting the Day, about kiddie tables.
"It's like being in the monkey cage at a zoo," said the Tweeter. "What does everyone else do?"
Well, in amongst the hilarious suggestions of handcuffs and gaffer tape, emerged some pretty good advice.
So here goes:
1 Cover the kiddie table with white paper tablecloths, paper plates and cups and supply crayons. Encourage drawing on the tablecloth.
2 Purchase a lot of heavy-duty baby wipes
3 Supply breadsticks and small snacks to stifle howling and tantrums if lunch starts looking delayed. I'm told pink lemonade is also popular.
4 Offer a prize for the best Christmas-themed tabletop drawing.
5 Supply ketchup (although specify this is not to be used as a artistic medium).
6 Heavily bribe a teenager to sit at the kiddie table and keep reasonable order. £20 ought to do it. If there are no teens, take eldest child at the table aside and tell them that you are relying on them to be in charge. I'm assured that this works even if they are only 4 or usually behave like the antichrist.
7 When tempers are fraying and any food that's going to be consumed has been consumed and the rest is going on the floor, accept that no amount of threats are going to keep them still and quiet and that it's time to:
- Bribe same teenager or a different one to take children outside for 1 hour if there is a park nearby
- Or if putting shoes and coats etc on too much hassle, or there is no teenager available, announce a showing of a pre-selected Christmas film and add that there will be sweets supplied (tiny bratlings, I'm told, aren't interested in Christmas pudding).