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For the last 12 years, I’ve judged people with vinyl tablecloths. I decreed them tacky.
Both the tablecloths and the owners.
I’m sorry if that’s you. Please forgive me.
Tablecloths are cloth. They’re supposed to be made of fabric.
Yesterday, I bought 2 vinyl tablecloths, and I sorta ran home to put one on my table.
For 3 months, I’ve been eating my meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks – on a vinyl tablecloth liner, the kind with the flannel backing the protects the table from heat and spills.
Yesterday, I decided that a vinyl tablecloth liner was worse than a vinyl tablecloth.
The problem is Messy Bessy, my willful 21-month-old angel, who will only eat her meals directly from the table.
Let me explain how this plays out.
Every day. Every meal. Snacks, too.
At breakfast, I put Allie’s cereal bowl down in front of her.
Allie tastes the cereal by sticking her fingers into the milk and licking them off.
If she approves of the cereal, she dumps the contents of the bowl out onto the table. Using her spoon and fingers, Allie picks up the cereal one piece at a time and eats it. When she’s eaten it all, she slurps the milk off of the tablecloth.
Her belly is almost never full, and she always asks for more. I scoop up the bits still on the table, plop them into her bowl, and hand it back to her.
Sometimes, she finishes whatever’s left of her cereal. Other times, she dumps it again and wipes it from the table to the floor. She looks over the edge of the table and says, “Uh oh!”
That’s how I know when she’s fully, by the way. She’s done eating when she starts throwing the food onto the floor.
All toddlers do that, right?
Wait, don’t tell me. I don’t want to know.
At lunch, I put Allie’s chicken nuggets (on a plate) and applesauce (in a bowl) in front of her.
Allie tastes the applesauce by sticking her fingers into it and licking them off. She picks up the chicken nugget and licks that, too.
And then she dumps the plate and the bowl onto the table. She massages the chicken nuggets into the tablecloth. She slurps the applesauce up. Audibly.
At supper, Joe puts buffalo chicken dip and carrot sticks on the table in front of her.
You know where this is going, right? She dumps them on the table and then eats them.
After 3 of my pretty cloth tablecloths were ruined (stained, ugly, awful), I gave in, swallowed my pride, and bought 2 vinyl tablecloths.
And then last night, my cat put big three big rips in it.
Now it’s tacky and tattered.
© 2012, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.