I have always wanted to have nice linen for the table but have thought that having little ones would make that hard to do. Well, I bit the bullet and bought myself some lovely machine washable (and dryable) placemats, matching runners and napkins with a couple of neutral tableclothes.
So after washing them and ironing them we gave a runner and the placements their first use. It all looked good, until the baby spilt his drink. We then discovered a very interesting scientific fact. The placements absorbed water, sucked it up nicely, but the water on the runner beaded.
Instead of a nice formal dinner setting I had all my boys (even the biggest one) playing with the water, pushing the drops around so they merged then splitting them then playing more until they would run into a placement and be absorbed. Yup, so much for nice table linen. It was a science experiment instead.
This seems to be the way with boys. Everything, no matter how well planned, turns into something messy or gross. lol