3:30 in the afternoon is Teatime at our house. It's our new tradition. My recent reentry into the world of tea has reminded me how much I love the ceremony, and why it's appropriate for young gentlemen as it is for young ladies.

And young gentlemen are what I have. Number 1 and Number 2 are now old enough to forgo afternoon naps, and enjoy reading and engaging in quiet activities in the afternoons while the little ones are asleep. Our diminutive respite is held daily at the kitchen table around 3:30. The boys sip, respectfully, out of thrifted teacups that came complete with a voice altering function that turn manly boys into demure young lads. We steep our teapot, stir discreetly with our demitasse spoons, and indulge in sweet little sugar cubes. Occasionally, we munch on lemon wafer cookies. The best part of this ritual is the deliberate conversation that results between a busy mom and her gentlemen-in-training, through topics ranging from what Mama's childhood was like, to what it will be when "all us boys are grown-ups."

This magical reprieve lasts but a half hour before the veil of gentility dissipates with a hug and a "thank you" and they are off collecting earthworms again.

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