I've always said that one of the important things I want my kids to have is social skills. And by 'social skills' I don't just mean being able to down a pint of beer in 5 seconds or nicely share a joint. I want them to be able to chat to different types of people and in various situations. I think my social skills are pretty good - I do like a chat, especially if it's over coffee & cake. My husband also has good social skills too - as long as he doesn't talk about his work. It's one of those life things that we want to pass onto our children. We think it's more important than fricking fractions.
They are okay at it so far. They will say "Hello" and ask questions and, if you're unlucky, go through every photo on my phone telling you the story behind it. The girl child, if she was a superhero, would be Non Breathing Girl because she can talk at you for six hours straight. My son has learnt the art of sarcasm but his most favourite phrases are "What's for dinner?" and "Where's the computer?"
In order to develop their social skills, I've introduced games at the dinner table. Which works if I can get them to stop fidgeting and pushing carrots around the plate. These games include such delights as Good News/Bad News (example: the good news is we have no homework, the bad news is Mummy will make us read) and Three Things That Happened Today, which is simply when you have to talk about your day.
This was last night's offering:
ME: "I walked the dog. I had a nice coffee. My friend phoned. I bought a hat."
THE GIRL: "But that's FOUR THINGS."
HUSBAND: "Was if the coffee I made you?"
ME: "No. It was from Starbucks."
THE BOY: "School was boring. Where's the computer?"
THE GIRL: "Mummy, can you stop talking now please."
TODDLER: "Watch telly."
HUSBAND: "I don't know why you make them do this."
ME: "You have the social skills of a pig."