This is a well-trodden blog post theme for me, the seemingly never-ending dramas that occur at the dinner table. Friends tell me it gets better, as yet I have no evidence of that but as I rarely see a 17 year old have a meltdown tantrum when eating out I can only assume they are correct. Instead of going on and on about my frustrations around the dinner table I thought I’d make a little list. My top 5 dinner dramas….. here we go.
5. A relaxing meal out – an oxymoron if ever there was one. I physically tense up in restaurants with the kids and not because they are horrible generally. I just find the potential for the horribleness to come out (which it does very ocassionally) enough to set my teeth on edge. I want them to be able to sit at a table, eat nicely, not disturb others around them and let everyone enjoy they’re meal. I feel like other are judging me and my parenting based on the behaviour of my children. So is this paranoia or something based in reality? Who knows? But what I do know is how often I’ve heard (and even said before having my own children) the line “My children will never behave like that in public” – or some version of it. There seems to be unrealistic expectations about how children should know to behave and it’s bad parenting if they don’t fit that criteria.
4. No soup for
you me! My kids hate soup, pretty much universally. I love soup, I want to make soup, eat soup and enjoy soup without a complete break down ocurring as the bowls are put in front of them. What’s worse, they too used to love soup. What the hell changed?
3. Cutlery, it’s there for a reason. Use it! Your hands are disgusting. But if you insist on using your hands DON’T TOUCH ME! Granted Miss Five is a gun with a knife and fork these days, her sister, not so much.
2. Chilli, pepper, spice, I miss you so! This one is reserved for Miss Five only. She can spot a crack of black pepper at fifty paces. A minuscule amount of chilli will send her racing for the tap as though flames are about to shoot from her mouth. A curry is just not going to happen, I’ve tried! Miss Three loves a bit of spicy sauce, a grind of pepper or some spicy salami. She’s a girl after both Mr Good and my hearts. And while adding our own heat or spice to the end product is okay, it’s just not the same as cooking it into the dish.
1. I’M BORED! That’s me talking, not the kids. I’ve given up my usual wide variety of dishes and have started serving up the stock standard meals week in, week out. Spaghetti bolognaise, tuna mornay, fish fingers/fish fillets and veggies, fried rice, grilled meat and salad, kebabs and rice, tacos. I’m bored with it all, I’m bored cooking it and I sure am bored eating it. The dramas are fewer but at the expense of anything particularly interesting to sit down to. I do add a new recipe in there every now and again, but mostly it’s the same old, same old.
It also doesn’t help that at least half the nights of the week I eat with just the girls, so there’s not even some adult conversation to dull the pain of eating with whining, fussy, messy kids. I have two saviours though when I think I’m going to snap. Wine and TV – the wine for me, the TV for them. I wouldn’t normally suggest letting your kids eat in front of the TV, but occasionally it does the trick, they eat and don’t complain about the food.
I’m linking up with Jess again this week. Click here to check out her post (when it goes up).
In the meantime, tell you’re tricks for surviving mealtime dramas.