FOOD. I love to cook. LOVE. To. Cook. I find great pleasure in the smells, flavors, and even the messes that come with preparing a truly wonderful meal. Growing up, we always sat down together at the table as a family to eat dinner. I have these visions of sitting down for dinner with my own family…but dinner with my kids makes me want to fall on something pointy.
AMEN. Everyone comes to the table happy and eager. They climb into their chairs, fold their little hands, and we pray. But within 2 seconds of “amen”, the craziness starts. It doesn’t even matter what I do. I’ve tried everything. We’re all praying together, we say “amen”, and then this happens:
- Avery claps her hands and cheers after our prayer is over, and spills her water
- As I’m cleaning up the water, Avery stuffs the entire end of the salt shaker in her mouth. “No, Avery. No mouth.”
- Brady is trying very hard to put pepper on his plate so he can dip his meat in it, and he gets pepper IN HIS EYE (WTF!?)
- I get up to get Brady a cold rag, and Avery stuffs 7 pieces of meat in her mouth at once. “No, Avery. Small bites please.”
- I get Brady his cold rag
- I turn back around and Avery has decided she has too much meat in her mouth, so she spits the entire wad of half-chewed meat into my WATER GLASS
- I fish the meat out of my water glass with my fork, and get Brady sat back down at his chair with the cold rag
- Just as he sits down, whoops! He realizes he has to poop
- I get Brady naked so he can do his business
- I head back to the table, and Avery is banging on my water glass with her fork, and knocks it over
- While I’m cleaning up water, again, Brady announces he’s ready to be wiped
- I head into the bathroom to help him out. While I’m washing my hands, Avery takes her ENTIRE dinner plate and puts it on the floor and starts eating her food like she is a dog
- Brady emerges from the bathroom, sees Avery’s stroke of genius, and copies her
- Finley is fussing in her bouncey seat, so I grab her real quick
- I sit down in my chair with Fin on my lap and take my first bite of dinner, while the kids eat from the floor like animals
- As I’m chewing, Finley yacks up 4oz of breast milk onto MY PLATE.
- PEACE! I’M OUT BITCHES! DINNER OVER!
HOPE. And every night, every SINGLE night, I have this tiny hope of hopes that my kids will sit nicely, eat their food, and my night won’t have to end with that crazy bullshit….but then the sad reality sets in. I go to bed disappointed. I mean, I love these little jerk-faces, and want to share a meal together!! Why do they have to make things so hard!? Why?! WHYYYYY!?
STARVE. Things have gotten so bad during dinner time, that I have actually threatened never to feed the kids again. “If you don’t sit nice and eat your dinner, I’m never feeding you again!” Needless to say, the kids called my bluff.
PEACE. Since I can’t seem to get my kids on the “manners train”, Bill and I have started having steak-and-ceasar-salad-Saturday. We put our little monsters to bed and stay up together grilling ribeyes, sharing a bottle of wine, and enjoying a non-stressful meal together. It has become the highlight of my week….closely followed in second place by Champagne Friday. In the end, I just had to say “fuck it”. I can’t fight with my kids every single night and expect to maintain my sanity. My kids were all late walkers, late talkers, and late to potty train. Hell, Brady is 2 months from turning 5, and still wants to sleep in his crib. Maybe I’ll be able to teach then table manners by Junior high. High School at the latest. But no promises.