Monday, February 02, 2009

Dinnertime Sucks*

Dinner goes through phases at our house, and right now is a bad one.

On the adult side of things, I'm on Weight Watchers because of all the holiday weight I gained. So everything I make has to be measured and prepared very carefully, and then I have to find something to add to it to make it a worthwhile meal for Chip. (Like, say, cheesy Mexican rice to go with the fat-free spinach quesadillas that I painstakingly made from a WW recipe, despite the fact that I know how to make spinach quesadillas without a freaking recipe.)

As for the kids- well, they just don't want anything. They might ask for chicken nuggets and macaroni & cheese, but then they sit and stare at these items and complain about how they are too hot or too cheesy or not cheesy enough and then blood starts coming out of my ears because I have only been home for 45 minutes and that entire time has been spent listening to you whine about being hungry while I'm trying trying to cook something that everyone will be happy with and while Chloe is "helping" me which really just means sprinkling shredded cheese all over the kitchen and eating butter with a fork.



I think the kids are struggling with the fact that they find chicken nuggets and pizza boring, yet they refuse to try anything else. It would be funny if it weren't excruciating. I've always wanted them to eat what we are eating (and I still offer it every night), but as time goes by I find that I just want them to eat anything at all. Even though I pretend to be at peace with the fact that they get a separate meal, each night I go back over all the food decisions I've made in Connor's lifetime and try to pinpoint when, exactly, things went so horribly wrong.

I am someone who truly loves food and cooking (and my kids!), so I find it unbearable that each dinnertime is such a disaster. Truth be told, it's my lack of patience with the whole situation that is the real problem. I start each meal with a good attitude, but I just immediately turn into Mommy Dearest when a kid dares to groan about what's on the plate, or when the food goes untouched, when a child takes one bite and has the audacity to ask, "Can I have candy?" I need to lower my expectations, but I just can't. Maybe the best I can do is try to hold my tongue as I wait for this phase to pass.

*If published in the Commercial Appeal, this would be titled, "Despite long-held beliefs, Mom becomes short-order cook"

10 comments:

Melissa said...

If its any consolation, Grayson was picky as a little one and outgrew it. Now he eats all sorts of stuff like scallops, sushi and lima beans! He has even commented to Shawn on a few occassions- does this sauce have white wine in it or I can taste the garlic in the marinade. I hope he will have a fabulous job as a food critic and will take his mom along for fun :)

Chip can take the pictures!

RJA said...

My favorite part of all of this is the image of the kids whining with cheese everywhere, and blood coming out of your ears, and all the while Chip is crawling around taking pictures of it all.

This sounds as bad as our house. We recently initiated the sitting around the table for dinner production, but I'm about ready to start feeding my kids sandwiches in front of the TV again.

Stacey Greenberg said...

Now that Warren is back in school dinner is pretty sad 4 out of 7 nights around here. When I hear myself list dinner options to the kids (pizza, hot dogs, ramen, spaghetti-o's, etc.) I feel like a total loser.

Sassy Molassy said...

I am right there with you. Last night's dinner at our house was rough. I'm about ready to go on strike as the family chef. On the bright side--Stacey, I have half a pot roast and some mashed potatoes and gravy if you would like them for y'all's Daddyless dinner.

Stacey Greenberg said...

do you deliver?? :)

Anonymous said...

Send your kid to Campus School!
Registration is Feb 9th.

Joe Sankey said...

Well, we've taken the following approach... For lunch, Nealy gets (within reason) whatever she says she wants. We bake the chicken nuggets from scratch, so I don't worry so much about them, and she usually wants yogurt, so she's at least getting a reasonably nutritious meal.

For dinner, she either gets some of what we're having, along with either an apple or a banana ('cause we know she'll eat that) or nothing. We always tell her the same thing - we're not going to make you eat it, but that's dinner. She's got to decide between stubborn and hungry, but it's her choice.

Mel said...

I'm gonna blame it on those Chockley genes since it seems these Chocks experience the EXACT same thing every night! I'm right there with you Stephanie, except sadly mine extends to Phillip as well. His diet consists of: Mello Yello, meat, potatoes and bread. That's it! No veggies of any sort and no fruits! Such a great example for my girls, don't you think?

Chris and Kate Lareau said...

Meredith spent 50 minutes last night consuming approx. 20 bites of quesadilla. 90% of the bites required specific prompting. Good times, good times.

DW said...

I'm wondering when Charlie will fall off in his eating. He still eats what we eat, and often asks for things like arugula and parsnips. I hope we get lucky...