Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dinner Time

Dinner time is a very simple concept to me. You sit down with your family and you eat your food and talk about your day. That's what it's been like for most of my life, so I would I expect anything different?

But wait, tucked in the back of my mind, something is nagging at me. What could it be? Let me try and figure this out. I need to go back in time. Back before the days when goofing on my dad's nose. She would pretend to duck every time he looked at here, and it left us all in stitches. Back before the days when we leaned back in the chairs so often that we loosened all the spindles that held the chairs together. I think I need to go back even further than the temper tantrums I used to throw over having to clear my plate and do the dishes.

I know what it is. If I go way back in time, I remember the days before my parents gave up the fight to get my sister to eat, well...anything. Dinner time wasn't filled with jokes and being reminded AGAIN to not lean back in the chairs. Dinner involved crying and fighting. My sister was the one that was crying and fighting, but it stressed out everyone at the table. When I was about 3 or 4 years old the stress got to be too much for me. So, one night while my sister was screaming and crying about not wanting to her green beans, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I got up, walked around the table and ate them all for her. You should have seen the look on her face when she finally stopped crying, looked down at her plate, and wondered where the hell those disgusting beans went. We still laugh about it to this day.

I don't remember any fights about food after that. My parents just gave in an let us eat what we would eat, and ignored the rest. So, I never expected to be involved in those kinds of battles again. Until I was gifted with the fussiest child on the face of the earth. Once or twice I've pushed it, but it never works, so we now keep things pretty loose at dinner.

I say all this to explain why this goes on at my dinner table.

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He's eating quiche here. QUICHE! Do you hear me! With bacon in it. He's eating MEAT! I can live without the use of a fork.

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Look, I did at least give him a fork. One of these days he may use it.

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Yeah, just push that last little bit in with your fingers. I'm OK with that.

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Oh wait, look, he's using the fork! In the milk. Kid, you might be a little confused about what's supposed to be going on here.

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No, he's got it. Nothing a little trial and error can't work out.

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Hey, guess what? If you close your mouth, the milk won't dribble down your chin.

Well, we may not have the most...um...civilized dinner, but at least we don't have screaming and crying. The three of us spend time together and talk about our days, and some food even gets ingested on occasion. It works for me.

...Even though I still end up eating all the green beans...


Zoey's Mommy said...

There's seven kids in my family so I am sure you can only imagine how many dinners were spent fighting and crying!

Love the pics of Michael! He's such a handsome boy. And hey, way to go on getting him to eat quiche!!

Maria said...

Wow! He is so BIG! That is great that he is eating, and Quiche too. I'm impressed. Oh, my aunt used to hide her baked beans in her pockets. Imagine that load of laundry!

Anonymous said...

Michael looks like such a big kid! He's adorable.

Green beans are one of the five or so non-dessert foods my kid will actually eat. Giving up on fighting and civility at dinner-time has done wonders for our sanity.


Sarah said...

I could not agree more! The fighting and begging little people to eat battle is not a part of our mealtime anymore. It has actually worked wonders to just go with the flow. Yes, they eat with their hands sometimes,but I am happy if some of their food ends up in the their mouths.

Karla said...

Yay for Michael eating dinner! I know what a struggle food has always been with him (I can recall your conversations/comments here and BBC). I hope he keeps it up.

Here's to continued peaceful dinners!

Deanna said...

Eating utensils can be highly over-rated!! YAY for quiche! And just between you, me, and the internet (that's private, right?), I still sometimes lick my plate (at home) if dinner was really really good (translation - I made gravy)!

DesiDVM said...

This has been a hard control struggle for me to let go of, too. J is extremely picky and always has been. He has his staples -- chicken nuggets, oatmeal, cereal, and sausage--but beyond that it used to be a daily battle. Like you we finally had to loosen up a little (a lot), and now we just let him eat what he wants, when he's not interested he can leave the table as long as he has at least one bite. It's frustrating, I still think he doesn't eat well but we're not fighting as much.

Karen said...

Love the pictures of Michael...he looks so grown up! My Michael's new food obsession is salad.

Steph said...

That sums up dinner at our house pretty well too.... as long as Cooper is eating I am really not concerned anymore how he does it.... the other day he wanted to eat applesauce like a cat. Meow!