Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Dinner at My House

I cooked tonight. Yes, this is a major event. I do not often cook since it is often just my children and I and they don’t really like anything so that is usually what they get—anything I can throw together in ten minutes or less.

But tonight I cooked chicken and rice because my daugther loves it and it has been awhile since I made it.

Cara (11.5), Benjamin (almost 5) and Lauren (2.5) are the lights of my life--except at dinner time. Cara eats at lightning speed and wants to be excused. Ben talks the ENTIRE time without eating much and waits until bedtime to be “starving.” Lauren picks at her food usually seeing which foods she can squish before she makes some kind of sculpture with it.

We sit down to dinner and immediately my son spills his drink…no biggie—this happens a lot.

After cleaning up the spill we say our prayers which consisted of “Thank you God for the turkey.” (Don’t ask…no, we didn’t have turkey but my son has been very grateful for turkey since Thanksgiving. In fact, my son’s class put paper turkeys on their classroom door and the teachers wrote on it what each child was thankful for…children wrote “my mom and dad,” “my dog,” “my sisters,” and Ben’s said “Turkey.”) I am so proud.

We try not to laugh (makes it worse) and just say “Amen.”

Immediately afterwords the conversation is as follows:

Mom: Did everyone have a good day at school?

Lauren nods her head and smiles.

Ben: Remember in the movie (Ratattoulie) she says, ‘You cannot be mommy and sticks the knife in his shirt?' (demonstrating with his fork)

Cara: What continent is Denmark in ?

(A flying pea thrown by Lauren hits my husband in the head)

Lauren laughs.

Dad: Lauren, do NOT throw your food.

Lauren puts her head on her highchair tray and cries.

Ben: Don’t I look like PaPa? (smearing the chicken and rice on his chin like a beard)

Dad: Lauren, do you want to go to your room?

Cara: I have to burp…that is weird, I usually only have to burp after soda

Mom: Caaarrraaa….that is enough. Say excuse me.

Lauren resumes throwing her food off the tray.

Dad: Ben, don’t put food on your face.

Mom: Lauren, do not throw your food. Are you finished?

Cara: I am finished. Can I go to my room?

Dad: Nope you have to do the dishes and earn your allowance. You are getting old enough to do more things around here and if you want a cell phone when you are 12, you have to show us you are mature enough to handle it.

Ben: My school is cool…we get to play outside and there is a window on it.

Cara: So where is Denmark?

Lauren: (now sitting on my lap looking at my Elmo placemat) Elmo blue (she is a bit slow on her colors!)

Mom: Cara do the dishes please.

Ben: …and sometimes when we play outside Sara chases us and we pretend we are the bad guys.

Dinner is over.

I am wondering how I managed to eat with all that commotion.

I am wondering if we are the only family who eats this way.

I am wondering where Denmark is….


Elizebeth said...

Um, I dont think your alone! I love my girls, but meal times are such struggles! My 4 year old hardly eats, so I practically have to STARVE her to eat something besdies crackers. Plus she takes 2 bites and is finished.
And my 2 year old is so messy and loves to throw her plate and placemat.
I really look forward to the day when eating is a pleasure and not a struggle.

StampOwl said...

hehehehehehe ... you are toooooo funny! See there are advantages of being old ... we have done all that! and I still have a DD to do my dishes too ;)

Christina Fischer said...

Bwaaaahaaaaa!!!! Omygosh -- you are too funny! Things are not too different at my dinner table, since my kids are 15, 13, 6 and 4. Conversation is a little fragmented when we're talking about Freshman basketball, the latest 8th grade science test, the birthday cupcakes a friend brought to Kindergarten, and the "Purple" my preschooler painted today. Plus, my 4-year-old never wants to eat and is always "hungry" at bedtime! Just this morning, at 3 am, she woke me to ask for a piece of cheese. Aaaaaaaagh!!! I am, however, so thankful for the times we are at the table together, because it is rarer (is that a word?)all the time. To have my two teenagers and two preschoolers sitting still at the same time and enjoying each other's company, even for 20 minutes, is a joy! Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your life! Hugs! :)

Jacque (SCS: Petals) said...

No, you're definately not alone. Before kids, my husband and I would eat in the living room, watching T.V. Once we had kids, we decided meals should be at the dinner table (both to ensure some family time, and to preserve the carpet in the living room!).

Since that time, I have frequently asked myself why we bother. Those "family" meals seem to be some of the most stressful times of the day, usually ending like yours, wondering how I got my dinner done, trying to recall if it even tasted good, LOL!

Oh well. I'm sure it won't feel like it's been enough "family" time in a few years (okay, maybe more than a few) when they are gone.

Mary said...

You are hilarious! You should write a book so all the other mother's in the world don't feel alone. That same kind of thing goes on at my dinner table too. Where is Denmark anyway? Now I have to go look at a map! Mary

Michelle said...

Too, too funny! Oh, how I DO miss those days! :-)

Julie Campbell said...

Oh My Gosh! That was awesome! That sounds SO much like our meals... except my kids never want to ask the intellectual questions (Yeah. I WISH they would ask the 'where is Denmark' questions!). LOL! Mine usually want to talk about poop... and sometimes when I get distracted, my 2.5 yr old likes to dump his 'liquid' foods on his head. People ask me how I stay skinny. It's because they usually make me lose my appetite! ;)

Cindy said...

sounds like our house!

Stampin' Project Junkie! said...

hahahah what a cute story!!!

Shannan said...

Nope, I can't help you. I have no idea where Delaware is, much less Denmark. My life is a 3 ring circus, but it almost sounds like you may have me beat. ;)

Katie said...

You are so not alone...lately we haven't finished dinner w/o our 3 yo having to go to time out. My kids are 4, 3, and 1, so it's definitely an adventure. Thanks for the chuckles!

Deborah Anton said...

I understand completely minus the little one!!!! And asking where Denmark is... BUT! always a story of something the boys have seen and re-enacting it... and you are not alone for what the kids are thankful for... much like the other kids you saw wrote "thankful for mom and dad" one of mine said they were thankful for teeth and pillow while the other said his toys! Go figure! Yup! us moms are in one big cruise liner without the pampering!!

Julie Masse said...

Cammie I think we could be really good friends!! :) I was sitting here with hubby laughing almost to tears! My supper story would be similar only it usually starts: Children: "What's for supper" Me: something - let's say Macaroni & Cheese, Children: Oh I HATE that . . . then follows about 20 minutes of whining, crying, complaining about how much they do not like that particular entree (whether they've had it before or not!) When we've all had about as much as we can take someone actually decides to take a bite and miracle of miracles - they like it! Then there's the fact that my 2 yo son takes about 5 times as long as anyone else to eat - he is always the last one at the table! Some days I think eating supper "as a family" is highly overrated!! Thanks for the glimpse - it was priceless! :)

Kim said...

That is comedy sister! AND OH SO familiar!!!!

Jen said...

LOL! That was funny! And very endearing. How blessed you are to have such a large family that can still eat together on occasion. I always thought my house would resemble that, but not all of us are so lucky.

Amber (bambi64) said...

Oh, my, Cammie!! Too funny! Our Benjamins are so different... mine has 2/3 plate fulls of food... well as long as it is something he likes. Of course we have the regular burps from all the kids but have't had the little one throwing food at anyone yet.

Allison said...

This sounds like my world except that I spend all dinner cajoling my daughter to have two bites (unless it is chicken fingers and fries which she will devour) while my son at four practices every squeak and yell he can get away with! Last night I made him go eat in the pantry by himself while my DD and I had a showdown over her rice and corn. Ah yes, good times!

Chris Scrappin and Stampin in Texas said...

You are so not alone. I remember those early days. It gets better when they get older (I now have teens) at least the converstation. Now it is all about trying to find the time for everyone to sit at the table..Hugs!! I love the flying pea action...when my kids were was all over the floor..I remember not going to resturants when they young, because they were too fidgety!!

Erika H. said...

I love your story! This could so be our house.

Even more funny is that I actually lived in Denmark for a is in Europe (part of it is juts out from the mainland of Europe, but Copenhagen is on the island...which makes up the other part of Denmark.

AJ said...

Definitely NOT alone!! My 8 year old son likes to sing ad or talk THROUGH OUT THE WHOLE DINNER! And my four year old (also Lauren) cries any time she is spoken to sternly as well~~
I *think* Denmark is in the Northern part of Europe- don't quote me though! Somewhere in Europe!!

twinks said...

Love this! Brings back memoroies of my attempts to have a sit down dinner when our kids were little.

Tammy-SCS-feathers&ink said...

LOL too funny! You are not the only family that eats that way. We pray before every meal, and they cover the usual things and also pray for friends who are ill.
My younger son (10) loves chicken noodle soup. Plain old campbell's chicken noodle. So almost every day, shortly before dinner he eats that...and then he isn't hungry for MY dinner. My older son (13-who has ADHD) loves to start a battle about (fill in the blank) at almost every meal.
My poor hubby just wants to eat in peace. Good luck!
And here's the worst part... my office needs cleaned I have spilled my craftmaking things into the dining room, and we have been eating in the living room, till I have a moment to finish the work needing done and clean all the many little pieces that are all over it. So we have been taking trays to the liv. rm. for every meal for about 2 weeks now! How's that for abnormal.
Loved the pea off your hubby's head...sorry that one made me laugh out loud! LOL