The equation is simple — in theory.
You cook it, they eat it. Yea, right.
Actually, we’ve been lucky. Our children never really gave us too much grief at the dinner table. They’ve always eaten just about anything you put in front of them.
My almost-16-year-old actually has greater moments of difficulty at the dinner table now than when she was two. Not with everything mind you, just a few things — potatoes, canned peas, peppers, tomatoes, or super-spicy stuff. She’s actually quite open to trying new things which is great. When she was two, if one of her favorites showed up on her plate before even eating she’d ask, “More affer?” Allow me to translate the toddler-speak: “More after?”
As I said, lucky.
But to have a child so ornery, so difficult, so picky and fussy as to debate every plate laid before them? To have a child that demanded anything but what was served? To have that endless hamster-wheel like moment at the end every single day?
I think I’d go frigging nuts.
Not only would you be preparing dinner every night, but you’re also preparing for battle.
You need a constant repertoire of responses in order to dance the dance of meal time. The constant battles and the faces, oh the faces.
And on the off-chance you do get them to eat, you need to employ manipulative trickery.
Or, deceptive reverse psychology suggesting that what they are about to eat is most certainly not good for them.
At times it devolves into a battle of wits rather than a battle of wills where the dinner table potentially resembles the Harvard Debate Club.
If the day ever should arrive, when dinnertime lacks all surprise and the wonder and mystery of, “What fit are we going to be dealing with tonight,” take gentle flight beyond our parenting boundaries will we miss it ?
Will we miss the faces turning into complaints then evolving into debates before being twisted into well-honed histrionics?
Will we gaze back on those moments as painfully precious or just painful?
I’m certain we will find all of this funny at some point. That is only once we’ve forgotten the cost of replacing the dining room carpet following the Chocolate Milk Incident of 2005.
Part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge