For those of you who think that tea parties are just for girls, know that you are just flat out wrong. Sorry. You are living under a false assumption. And if you have boys consider this an intervention before you have missed an opportunity to make crazy fun memories. Of course girls love tea parties! It is prime time for frilly dresses, tiaras, white gloves, pink sugar cubes, pearls, giggly friends, and mom’s make-up.
But have you ever been to the boys’ table? Some of the many benefits of inviting the man cubs to the lace covered table go largely unnoticed, and are as follows…
- Hello, manners. Respectable men don’t wipe their dinner remnants on their shirt sleeve or blow their nose on their tie. At some point you might have to bring your man child to a dinner where there will be real table cloths and possibly your husband’s boss. And though I’m not quite ready to imagine it, they will date. And buttering bread with an index finger is just poor fashion at any restaurant with more than 3 stars.
But just bribe them with chocolate scones and threaten them with grandma’s china and watch those pinkie fingers pop out!
- It is a perfect opportunity to learn about cultural customs from around the world. Food always gets a man’s (or man-to-be’s) attention. The themes are almost endless. One Christmas we read Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and then had an English tea party complete with figgy pudding and Christmas crackers, crowns, and etc. Studying the far east in history? Try a Chinese tea with exotic fruits, rice dishes and fortune cookies. We had a Japanese tea party when we learned about the history of the silk worm. We dropped a marshmallow in each tea cup to represent the silk cocoon that fell into the queens tea cup prompting her idea to spin the delicate material. Your imagination and willingness to google strange recipes are your only obstacles.
For this Valentine’s tea I included English clotted cream, recipe from The Pioneer Woman to spread atop scones with strawberry preserves or to dip into fresh berries. YUM!
- Can it just be that, no matter who you are, putting on airs, speaking with silly accents, and sipping tea is just fun? At the end of an exhausting week of school, work, late practices, laundry, grocery shopping, and life’s stresses it is nice to be able to get silly with each other. It’s nice to see boys get excited over something other than potty words and murderous video games. And they like to play pretend, just like girls. Maybe they won’t come to tea dressed as Belle or Cinderella, but have you ever dined with Sub Zero from Mortal Combat or Batman? Tea with the Joker is bound to be entertaining.
For this Valentine’s tea, when the table was set and the tea was brewing, I had the men folk, Dad included, go to their rooms and put on some personality. We went with a mad hatter sort of theme. Hats of any kind were mandatory.
- Real men sip tea. Okay so do real women and probably some dogs and monkeys. But real men are open to new experiences. Or even taking their girlfriend or wife to the ballet. I want them to grow up to be the kind of husband their dad is; one who likes going to the gun range and hiking, but will also get cleaned up and escort me to a dress-up mystery dinner theatre. And enjoy it.
But I did add a little boyish fun to the menu this Valentine’s Day! (poop recipe here)
- While I have their attention, I’m setting the bar high. My husband says with all this extra specialness I orchestrate, I am ruining any chance they’ll ever find a wife who will measure up. But to that I say, have you ever seen a Disney Princess movie? The bar for the boys to reach was sent into orbit by Hollywood and works of literature centuries ago. I’m doing my part to fight back. They may never find a girl just as crazy as their mom, but I want them to have the discerning eye to find the ones who go the extra mile to show their love and appreciation for family.
- These are a few of my favorite things, and I’ll not let a little thing like having only boys stop me from having tea with bread and jam. God gave me boys. I want them to know their mom and what she likes as well as their dad and his favorites. There is often an assumption that girls are closer to their moms and boys closer to their dads. But what about us moms without daughters? Or dads without sons? And even if you have one of each, take the time to let them get to know you both equally. If we had a daughter, I know my husband would teach her to shoot a gun as well as let her practice beauty school on his face. So my boys watch my favorite musicals we me, I fish with them, they cook with me, I hunt for rocks with them… You get the idea.
They have tea with me….But I add a little Dudeness to the brew!