I'm all about the family dinner conversation, the "meeting." As long as it's low-key and ends in my favor, well, generally anyway.
The problem in our house starts with getting everyone to sit down at the same time and maintain a common pace through the meal.
Invariably, someone will have to hop up for a condiment or the phone or a bathroom trip. Then there will be someone whose food needs to be warmed or cooled or spiced differently. And there's me, who grew up with three hungry sisters and hates having the "end piece" of anything. I'll eat what's on my plate and do it quickly. Sadly, meals have become more necessary than enjoyable.
But the other night we were talking about impressions, and after my daughter chickened out of doing 5 teacher impressions for her school talent night ( they were GREAT!), I joked about someone else at the table, and in imitating him, got a rise out of her.
We then took turns transforming into each of the other three family members... like a physical caricature, we walked the way they walked, tagged everything with the familiar phrase they utter or nickname they use for a loved one, and exaggerated common mannerisms they employ when trying to make get their point across.
It was funny and no one had any problem coming up with material.
The next night when the kids wanted to do it again, I said, only if it could all be positive. It was harder, but still fun, and interesting to see how you come off in the eyes of your children and your spouse.
Maybe a little too eye-opening for some of us.
Try it in your family and let me know how it plays out.