Dinnertime at my house

Please tell me that I am not the only one that has the “hell” hour right before dinnertime?  I have tried getting the kids involved in projects, giving them snacks or just straight watching a video / t.v. show but it doesn’t seem to matter.  Their little clocks know that its almost time to eat so they: a)throw tantrums (my 2 yr old), b) debate the menu selection (my 7yr old), and/or c) attach themselves to one or more of my appendages and whine about being STARVING.  The last being generally just the 7yr old drama queen in residence.  Oh yeah, I forgot about the 2 yr old yelling at me to pick her up.  And, of course, all this is happening while I am attempting to create a “culinary masterpiece” of chicken, rice, and green beans ~again.   

I will never say that I am a great cook.  Or even a good cook.  But I can follow a recipe.  I’ve even tried making more interesting meals but they never go over very well.  Now as long as we’ve got the ingredients, and most of the time we don’t, I can make a fairly decent meal.  I think my problem has always been lack of creativity in the kitchen.  I just don’t have the desire to make meals that are rave worthy, you know, Food Network amazing.  We are just too busy anyway.  Preparing dinner always seems to take a really long, long time but mere minutes to eat.  So it’s clearly unnecessary to work that hard at it.  You know what else, I’m co-dependent.  OK, that may be a tinsy bit harsh… I will say that I’ve basically lost all ability to think for myself when it comes to dinner.  I have to know what my husband wants to eat.  I tell him it’s so that he will be happy with the meal but honestly I think I ask because he’s picky.  He won’t admit to being a picky eater, but he is. 

About a year ago we moved into a new house that does not have a “breakfast bar” seating area so we have *actually* been eating our meals at the kitchen table.  Well, at least I can say I’m doing one thing correctly!  According to all those t.v. commercials we’re supposed to be eating together as a family, right?  Sharing our day and events, blah, blah, blah.  So we ask our 7 yr old about her day at school, what she did, and so on.  We get the usual answer of “I don’t know”.  Then after more prompting, we’ll get a few concrete details of activities that occurred during the day.  The thing that is hilarious is when we ask the 7 yr old how her day at school was, the 2 yr old will tell us, “good”, generally with a mouth full of food that she has just stuffed in there with her little hand!  We’re still working on maneuvering a fork full of food from plate to mouth…

So the husband & I work together daily, making it absolutely pointless for us to ask each other, “how was your day?”.  We already know every minute detail that has arisen throughout the day!  I could go on for hours on that subject but will pass for now….

At this point in the dinnertime game, we’ve talked, eaten, and are ready to move on to the next daily task.  It’s sad, but in a very real way, I believe that for many families in our country we view dinnertime as just one more thing on the “To Do” list.  Instead of relaxing and enjoying our food (and each other), we cram the food in.  But there’s a never ending folder of homework that needs to be completed, and sports or dance, and baths that often follow dinnertime.  Maybe it’s just my family?  Maybe not? 

Thanks for listening (or reading if you must be technical)

Ciao

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