7 Life Lessons from the ‘Kids Table’

Gah, the “kid table.” If you’ve never been sequestered to the dreaded kid table – a separate dining area specifically designed to meet the *ahem* needs of younger guests and provide a child-free atmosphere for guests – you somehow skated a most hellacious coming of age experience.

As someone who has had the distinct displeasure of dining at said table for many years with much younger cousins, I can tell you that the kid table is nowhere anyone over the age of 7 wants to be. As a place where the dinnerware is disposable, the noses are runny, and someone is always crying, kids are smart enough to know what they’re missing.

But hey, I’m not a kid anymore and as a parent I get the appeal of tossing my littles to the kid table with a giant paper tablecloth and a bucket of crayons so that I might enjoy a¬†little grown-up time. But my poor kids, just sitting there with teenage half-cousin Leah and toddler Brittany who likes to throw plastic forks … staring at me and my jumbo glass of wine with eyes that scream “Save me!” They don’t want to be seated off in the distance like second class citizens, they want to be with me, you know, the person who brought them here.

But I have to tell you, the most amazing thing happens the longer I hold that jumbo wine glass – the less I start to care.

The kid table is just one of those things you gotta live through, graduate from, and talk to your therapist about one day, because dammit, Mom and Dad deserve a hot meal and titillating conversation involving anything other than school schedules and orthodontics.

  • The Kid Table 1 of 8

    There are valuable life lessons to be found from the kid table. No really, check 'em out.

    Image credit: Shutterstock

  • Parents are people too 2 of 8

    Try as a host might to segregate children from the general merriment of an adult crowd, kids discover early on that their parents are like, real adult people who get loud and loose-lipped when they drink. Swear words, dirty jokes, and TMI - oh my!

    Image credit: Shutterstock

  • Ageism exists 3 of 8

    When it comes to special occasions such as holiday dinners, wedding receptions, and adult-centered celebrations, the divide between child and adult grows ever deeper. Not only is the kid table situated away from the main event as not to distract from the festivities, the accommodations have been made "kid friendly" in the hopes that no one gets hurt, gets bored, or otherwise requires parental supervision.

    Image credit: Shutterstock


  • Great expectations 4 of 8

    Caught between a kid and a young adult, teens are (mis)placed at the kid table and expected to cut everyone's food, prevent choking hazards, and perform general babysitting services for free.

    Image credit: Shutterstock

  • The grass is always greener 5 of 8

    It's only natural to want to ditch the juice box crowd in favor of a place where the stemware's fancy, the jokes are dirty, and the knives deadly sharp. But as with so many things, the grass is usually greener on the other side. What you don't know is how much Great Aunt Shannon would do anything to get away from Cousin Meg (especially after the Mother's Day debacle of 2009), and how much Dad can't stand listening to Grandpa Bill's right-wing extremist nonsense. At least at the kid table, farts are funny.

    Image credit: Shutterstock


  • No fair 6 of 8

    Politics surrounding the kid table aren't so different than those in corporate America. Is it fair that Uncle Joe's barely legal girlfriend gets a coveted spot at the grownup table while you, who has invested countless years at the kid table, doesn't? No. And to add insult to injury, you drove yourself here.

    Image credit: Shutterstock

  • Uncle Murray has a drinking problem 7 of 8

    When red-faced, MGD-reeking Uncle Murray lands at the kid table AGAIN cracking "pull my finger" jokes without anyone bothering to look for him, it's pretty clear to the over 7 crowd that Uncle Murray has a wee bit of a drinking problem.

    Image credit: Shutterstock

  • Forever young 8 of 8

    No matter how old you get, certain people will always treat you like a kid. Moving on up to the almighty grownup table might seem like a dream come true, but when folks continue treating you like a child once you're there, you might just wish you were back at the kid table where the youngsters thought you were off the awesometer.

    Image credit: Shutterstock

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