I can’t wait to get married and have kids. Meal times will be so special and wonderful. I’ll cook a nice meal, and they’ll all appreciate that I made it all from scratch with great love and devotion. We’ll use nice manners and talk about our day and bond with each other. It’ll be so special and wonderful.
Then I woke up. I feel like the mom on A Christmas Story who hasn’t had a hot meal for herself in 7 years, or something like that. Mealtimes, though I know are great if only because we are together, just don’t feel that special and wonderful right now.
That’s partly because I’ve had to let go of another fantasy, the one that went something like this, “MY kids will never be picky eaters!” (Ever notice that you have to be careful of judging things before you’re in them; it’ll come back to bite you in the rear!) My son won’t easily eat anything that’s not macaroni and cheese, hot dogs, or peanut butter and jelly. My daughter is all over the map. For instance, she loves peas. Plain or in rice, but NOT with mashed potatoes. Unless she sees something else she wants, like bread that she thinks is a cookie, then she won’t eat the peas in any form until she gets the “CooKEEEEE!” It’s a fine line to walk in finessing her to eat. But I won’t give in; they’re going to eat what I made, because I’m not a short-order cook. (right…)
So, I make one take a bite and feed a bite to the other. Then move the drink cup up from the edge of the table back to the top of the placement again, then pick up the peas that have rolled off the table before they get stepped on, then make the one take a bite and feed a bite to the other before moving the cup again.
Meanwhile, my beautifully cooked and highly under-appreciated meal is getting colder and more unappealing. To make things worse, I’m one of those people who gets pretty grumpy when I don’t eat, so it’s not pretty. Oops, better move that cup up again. “Why do you keep dropping peas off the table? Please don’t wipe your hands on the curtains, that’s why we have napkins. Get back in your high chair. Serenity now! Serenity now!”
One night I picked up my plate and went out back and ate by myself while they all tried to get me to come back in and eat with them. No way, that was the most peaceful, quiet meal I’ve had in ages!
I hate dinner. But I’ll keep at it. I’ll keep cooking good food, even if it’s deemed “yukky.” I’ll keep making them eat what they’re served, because it’s part of growing up, and it builds character. Maybe it’ll get better, maybe when they’re teenagers. I know, LOL. But I’m going to hold onto this fantasy for a while. “Meal times will be special and wonderful, meal times will be special and wonderful…”
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