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)
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….