Hello again moms!
Its that time of night again, dinnertime. I have few times of the day that go completely wrong every time, but I am pretty sure dinner time is one of them. Lately, I have been asking my kids what they would like for dinner. I find that they are more likely to eat their food, if they had a choice in the matter. I try to keep their choices logical. (We wont try the plain noodles covered in strawberry yogurt again and I dont recommend others try that either, for reasons that should be all too obvious!)
Tonight when I asked them what veggie they wanted with their dinner, they agreed on corn. Corn is fine by me, its in a can, its easy to heat up and plop on a plate, and it tastes good with little effort required. I gave them each a banana as well as another side dish. They always eat in a certain order I have noticed, starting with the sweetest food, and ending with the least sweet food. Its like a ritual for kids or something. All they really need is a dance, oh wait... They do that at the table too.
So after serving up dinner, I have to spend every 2 minutes following that saying phrases like "Sit down, stop playing with your food, get your feet off of the table, stop putting your bowl in the center of the table, and where is your spoon??" I can say these things without looking, because as soon as the giggling starts, I know they are up to no good.
My kids get bored fast, because not even 5 minutes after sitting down at the table they are restless and telling me they are done and want to get down. They start complaining and telling me they are "SOOO FULL," and that they "dont like corn!" You dont like corn? But you just ASKED me for corn... I usually find that they have only had a few bites at that point, and I insist that they sit their happy butts down and finish their food. This usually lasts about 10 more minutes, and by then, they are both putting food ON the table and climbing on the backs of the chairs playing "fling the corn kernel at the dog." I usually get frustrated at this point and I take them down and tell them that they are done and that they will have to wait until breakfast to eat again since they chose not to finish their dinner and I put it in the fridge. (I know, some will think I'm a horrible mom for not being a short order cook and giving them cakes and candy so that they will eat 100% of their food, but I cant afford to waste food.)
This happens every day. I dont know how it works in other homes, but I picture it something like this: Mommy dearest puts dinner on the table, and the kids and dad come running to enjoy her AMAZING cooking. They quietly eat their dinner, with some small talk in between, and there is no corn flinging. Oh, and the kids and dad do all of the cleaning up. (I must be doing something wrong, because I have yet to have that happen even once!)
Dinnertime is crazy, and messy, and loud in my house. It makes my head hurt, and I get frustrated, and it makes me THAT much more ready for bedtime. I know though, that when I am old and the kids are on their own, the quiet lonely dinner times will sadden me and that I will miss this. I know that these moments, while frustrating and maddening, are part of the memories that I will have to share with them as adults. After all, who wants to sit and listen to boring stories about perfectly well behaved kids who ate mommy-dearest's dinner and did the dishes over stories about the corn-flinging contest while standing on the backs of the chairs? Hang in there mommies, you're doing it right, I promise. Good night!