For once, here’s one I have no idea about. All I know is that at any given moment at the dinner table, one of my three boys is either standing up in his chair or crawling around on a covert mission under the table. I couldn’t tell you why. And I can’t make it stop. The brothers are five, and already they’ve been reminded 1.3 million times that “we don’t stand up at the table!” It doesn’t matter. The next reminder usually results in them assuming the “still standing but only on my knees in my chair so I can lean over the whole table” position, which is the number one contributing factor to worldwide chocolate milk spills.
Nicholas seems to be the one prone to the aerial coverage – he stands up for every occurrence, from passing the butter to announcing he’s in need of more beans. Nathan can usually be found on the floor. Or in his favorite position, halfway in between. He has the amazing ability to dangle his head off one side of the chair, stretch his feet off the other side and across his sister’s lap and/or plate, and eat rice pilaf at the same time. It is truly an impressive feat of dining.
What’s the advantage? Who can tell. Perhaps boys appreciate the opportunity to survey the battlefield from an aerial position before diving in for their attack on the taco toppings. Perhaps the mere sight of vegetable barley soup sends them into such an emotional frenzy that there’s no option other than to stand at attention and salute the feast. Don’t ask your boys why. You already know what will happen.
Just this weekend I was preparing drinks while my wife set the table with various materials involved in a beef stroganoff dinner. As I approached the table I found Nicholas already in action. His right foot was standing on his chair, his entire left leg – from the knee down and including his foot – was on top of the table, helping to balance himself while he loaded a giant shovelful of noodles onto his plate.
“Wow, that’s a new formation,” I thought as I reached the table.
I just set the chocolate milk about four feet away from him and headed back for the kitchen.