Once upon a time there lived a family of 6 in a modest white
house castle with two white pillars, a green roof and door. Each and every Sunday, the queen of the castle would prepare a tasty meal for her royal family. The youngest members of the family would eat loudly, forgetting all manners with burping and giggling, and other things.
This distressed the queen so much that one day she made a decree.
"If you don't stop being so silly at the table and forgetting your manners, we shall have a formal dinner and you will have to dress up in your fanciest clothes!!!"
The smallest prince, with a giggle and gleam in his eye kept on doing what he was doing. The eldest boy was laughing so hard that his face turned red as a beet. The King and the Queen and their royal guest sat in silence and gazed in wonder at how silly the princes and princess were acting.
"All right." the queen stated in her firmest, royal voice. "Tomorrow, you shall dress in your finest clothes. The table will be set with the finest china and I shall teach you how to behave at a formal meal."
The two eldest princes, along with the royal guest washed the dishes after dinner. They consulted amongst themselves. They didn't think their queen mother would actually go through with her decree. Much to their suprise and dismay, the next day she set the table with her finest china. Prepared a 4 course meal. She instructed her royal children to dress in their finest. They balked. They whined. They said, "Do we HAVE to!!!" Without further ado, they were all seated at the table. They even had to wait until the princess and the queen was seated before they could sit.
The first course was a simple bowl of Chicken/Potato Soup. The Queen instructed each of her children the proper way to eat a bowl of soup. They were quite distressed to hear that they had to wipe their mouths BEFORE. THEY. TOOK. A. DRINK!!!
Course #2 was a simple salad. They learned which fork was the salad fork.
The main course consisted of mashed potatoes, roast-n-gravy and green beans.
The last course, dessert, was just 2 cookies---snickerdoodle and white chocolate chunk. The queen was quite tired at this point. She had a ton of fine china to wash, dry and put away. But, the 3 princes and 1 princess had learned a lot from this one meal. Behavior around the castle dinner table has much improved since that night.
Sometimes lessons have to be taught the hard way for all involved. This was definitely a 'hands-on' learning experience. :)