Waiting for the Dinner Bell to do the bell thing.

Not long ago, Henry and Eli became obsessed with “Dinner Bell” by They Might Be Giants. After listening to the song approximately three billion times, they secretly conferred and then came to me wondering, “What is a dinner bell?” This led, happily, to my mom bringing us my grandmother’s old dinner bell. Now, most nights (and some mornings), we ring the dinner bell when it’s meal time.

Turns out there are lots of dinner bells available for not too much money, and I’m honestly highly recommending them for everyone. (You could get a ranchy chuckwagon triangle, or just get a regular one like we have.) The first best part is that the children don’t stand three inches behind you asking when dinner is; at least, not after you’ve reminded them that dinner is when they hear the dinner bell. They go off and play and await the ringing.

But the other day I realized the other great dinner bell use: calling the kids home. Since I have a voice that seems to carry about as well as a mouse’s, it’s very handy to have something louder to send out the “it’s time to come home” alarm. Henry was playing in the backyard of the kids across the street and one house over, and when it was almost dinnertime I opened the front door and rang the dinner bell. And then, to my great satisfaction, I heard Henry say, “Oh! That means it’s time for dinner!” and he was home in less than a minute. SO much better than me squeaking, “Henry! Henry! Dinner!” and having him ignore me/really truly not hear me.

And I hope you’re all appreciating the truly stupendous all-day-long bed head that Henry has developed. That little bent-up winglet is a force to be reckoned with.

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