I think eating as a family is important, but it means that my duties during dinner time are relatively demanding, and my attention tends to get sucked up by the youngest members of the squib squad...especially when Dad is working late and misses mealtime.
While Pudge is, blessedly, an independent muncher, she is also the only one of my children to actively plot and plan ways to make naughty happen when she realizes she is not under my watchful eye. This means that...once her plate is clean...and my hands are frantically forking glop at her sister and brother...she knows I'm a sitting duck.
Last night Justin was working late. Spaghetti was on the menu. I grabbed the kitchen scissors, ready to mince LC's noodles into spoonable bits, when the question popped into my head.
"If her supper was trickier to eat...wouldn't that make it SLOWER to eat as well?"
And, as long as you're willing to throw cleanliness and table manners to the wind, I like to think of it as a stroke of desperate parental genius.
I may never cut those noodles again.