Thursday, November 2, 2017

Dinner Disasters

Family dinner is just not happening at our house these days. Blame after-school activities, homework, cranky kids, tired parents, laziness...I don't know, its probably a combination of all of those and more. I get the benefits of a family dinner---where you sit and nourish your body and soul and reconnect after a long day apart, with thoughtful conversation and curiosity and listening---in an ideal world. In the real world? There is a lot of yelling. And whining. Saying food is yucky. Asking for treats. Getting up from the table. Throwing forks at brothers. You know what doesn't help me connect with my children at the end of a long day apart? Any of those things.

So here, for your reading pleasure, is a play by play of my family dinner shame.

Monday: G takes B to social skills class; I pick up L and bring him home by 5:30. We both are hungry when we get home and eat loads of cheese & crackers & fruit and carrot sticks. L is full and that's his dinner. I make some Annie's shells and cheese for B and add in peas and some chopped up grilled chicken breast which he devours after arriving home at 6:45 wailing "I'm HANGRY" over and over until I set the bowl in front of him. I'm waiting for our Plated meal box to arrive, but by 6:30 it still hasn't been delivered and I have no plan for adult dinner. G hunts around the freezer and decides we can have samosas and frozen TJ Indian meals. We make the samosas and eat them around 7:30 and realize we have eaten 2 servings each and are full.

Tuesday: eat snacks/pizza/candy at Halloween party

Wednesday: We all get home around 6. L is starving and asks for cheese & crackers and fruits which I give him, and then he eats half and says his belly hurts. I eat the rest. During this time B is happily counting & making lists of his Halloween candy. Make a Plated meal for G and I, but have to stop halfway through when a potential new dogwalker stops by at 7. I finish our meal and we eat at 7:30. While I'm talking to the dogwalker, G takes L upstairs for his reading practice. Somewhere in there, B has eaten the leftover mac & cheese/peas/chicken and gets back to his list-making. L gets hungry again and eats strips of chicken and fruit while I'm making lunches & B is having his bath. I give him carrots but he refuses them.

You know what didn't happen during any of those eating experiences? Yelling. Whining. Yucky/gross/disgusting. (throwing things at brothers and getting up from table will never ever not happen in my house, I'm convinced). I would like to get back on track with all of us eating the same thing together...someday. But I just...can't. We will always have cheese, crackers, mac n cheese, frozen peas, fruit, carrot sticks and frozen TJs meals on hand, and we will all be adequately nourished. We will get our connection outside of the dinner table.


  1. Yeh, this sounds totally reasonable to me!!

    My dinner disaster this evening is
    me: on couch, comfy clothes, eating a piece of Amy's pizza smeared with pesto, Internet, plotting my exit from my shit bag job.

    Teen daughter: on back porch with friend, eating remainder of Amy's pizza, internet

    Also me: no wine this evening

    Also teen: homework completed
    Anon in mass

  2. We have stubbornly stuck to the family dinner six nights a week (with one adult dinner involving a lot of wine on Fridays). With the 16 month involved it usually means I eat my food at the speed of light and try to remove her the moment before she starts hurling food over the side. Then I put her to bed while Q has to sit at the table waiting for E to finish eating (he is incredibly slow and usually talking non stop which makes him even slower).

    Your approach looks far more enticing at the moment.

  3. Last night my dinner was squash and peanut butter ice cream. It all averages out, right?

  4. We eat a lot in the kitchen (kids sitting on the floor, adults standing)

  5. my daughter does the same things minus the hitting, but only because she doesn't have a brother. I also have trouble not gaining weight when we eat family dinners. Remind me again who thought these rules represented parenting at it's finest?

  6. I could make you feel REALLY good about dinners at your place because dinners at mine are a cluster fuck. My kids eat in front of the TV most nights (yes, the pinnacle of parenting sins) and the thought of making them sit at the back table makes me cringe, literally. I know I'm not doing right by them, but I'm doing the best I can right now, and it will have to be enough.