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Tales from the Crib: Dinner time is a circus and I am the ringmaster

Lynn Cristina is a Wesley Chapel momma with two girls and works full time as a marketing manager.
Published Jul. 10

When Emme was little we had a pub table in our kitchen. It was very tall and totally inappropriate for a 2-year-old. One day on my husband's watch, Emme fell backwards off the chair. I wasn't home, so I really don't know what happened. She had no injuries and was totally fine, but my husband has been traumatized ever since. Each night at dinner he would put his foot on her chair, so she wouldn't fall.

How long are you going to keep this up? Will your foot be on her chair when she's 18? Let's just bite the bullet and get a proper table. So, we did.

MORE TALES: Vacations with young kids? This too shall pass.

We invested in our first expensive, grown-up piece of furniture, suitable for adulthood and child rearing.

It is a big round table that serves as a lazy Susan for our kids! Every night they literally run around this table like they are playing ring around the rosie. They cannot sit still. Up and down, up and down and nobody finishes their meal. If they aren't running through the kitchen one is going potty and of course they have to go together. I think the only way I can keep them in the chair is if I duct tape them to it.

By the way, I have not tried that.

Then you have the puppy making his way around the table secretly hoping they will drop a nugget. Most nights I eat standing up because they say my name 57 times in 30 minutes. They never need a drink, napkin or ketchup at the same time. My poor husband and I just look at each other from across the table because we cannot complete a sentence. Needless to say, we really miss the pub table.

One evening the baby (who is actually 3) stood up on her chair, lifted her shirt and yelled "boobies" at the top of her lungs. I am the mom that uses correct terminology to describe body parts, not cute code words like "winkie" or whatever else we come up with as moms. Was it funny? Yes, of course it was funny, but you can't crack a smile or reinforce this behavior. The last thing I need is for the school to call me to tell me Addy is flashing her classmates during recess.

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Emme is laughing uncontrollably. As I turn to lecture her about encouraging her sister's poor choices she laughs even harder. Like so hard she is going to fall off her chair. What the heck is so funny? I am trying to have a serious teaching moment here. I turn back around to see what is happening and there they were. Addy's butt cheeks, in my face. I am being mooned by my own flesh and blood. I never imagined in my years of being a mom that I would have to yell, "Don't moon your mother at the dinner table!"

I mean really! How the heck does she know to do this? I am not teaching her to moon people. My husband suspects that it is hereditary, as in from me, but that is just ridiculous. If anything, I wear a Snuggie every day. I am all modesty and no adventure. This streaking behavior definitely comes from my husband's side, not my gene pool. When my stepson was four he would strip off all of his clothes and yell, "Naked Party!" I rest my case.

Finally, I just had to exit the room stage left. Sometimes you are laughing so hard you just need to walk away and regroup. My husband with his head in his hands knows we have been defeated.

Lynn Cristina is a Wesley Chapel momma with two girls and works full time as a marketing manager. The girls' names are changed here so as not to embarrass their momma. She and her family love living in Wesley Chapel. Contact her at LCristina@tampabay.com.

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