When I was a young child growing up in the 1960 and 70s I would have to share a cramped dinner table at meal times with my Mum, Dad and two sisters and a smaller baby brother.
The table manners we were taught seemed draconian at the time, mainly with Dad acting as if he were in the army still. Whatever we did, especially regarding personal hygiene, there would be a line up type inspection.I wondered if any of you had similar 'rules/orders' you were forced to obey. I must say that it didn't make mealtimes very enjoyable although Mum's food was always nice and plentiful. From the ones that I can remember, here's a list of our family rules at dinner.
No-one was allowed to start eating before everyone was seated.
Always wash your hands before meals and get them inspected.
Interestingly, I don't recall us saying 'grace' before eating.
Elbows on the table was a definite no no.
No eating with your mouth open and exposing the food being chewed.
You had to eat all your dinner or you didn't get a pudding or sweet.
No playing with your food - we kids liked to build mashed potato houses.
No talking at the table except to ask politely for something to be passed.
No child could leave the table until the others kids had finished eating.
Washing the pots and pans was called 'doing the chores'. Oh joy!
The ritual of us kids washing up after meals caused huge family rows.
We had to eat properly with a knife and fork - rarely the fingers.
Slurping soup was a heinous crime, punishable by death by moaning.
If we had bread and butter the butter had to be spread really thinly.
We could never lick a knife or fork or put a knife in your mouth.
Weirdly, we weren't allowed to have a drink at the table, just food.
If peas dropped from your fork on the table or floor you would get told off. Big time.
A huge fuss was made if you soiled the tablecloth with food or gravy, even if it was just a small splash.
Farting at the table was only allowed at Christmas with guests around.
I'm sure that there were more rules and regulations in the parental attempts at teaching us good table manners. Strangers on holidays would always comment on what nice - well behaved children we were. More like terrified of doing anything wrong I think. lol