Here’s a re-post of one of my first blogs in 2011. It’s all about the dang dinner time drama that never seems to end. 🙂
So here’s the thing! And it’s the kind of thing that doesn’t really grate your nerves until it’s too late and you’ve already been catapulted into the position of wife, mother and “head cook.” Before you know what’s happened you’re thrust into an agonizing daily battle with your husband and children about what they want to eat. What’s more, they actually have the gall to expect, no, demand that we multi-tasking moms waltz into the kitchen, snap open our Martha Stewart inspired recipe box and whip up meals that will delight their picky palates at a moment’s notice! How absurd! How wrong! How incredibly annoying!
After years of such torment I decided to do a little math (very little) in order to get a handle on how many meals I’ve been required to muster up since I became a Mom. I figure that’s the best place to start because when we got married, while I did cook for my husband, I felt absolutely no obligation to do so. And heaven knows he did not belly up to the kitchen table for the recommended three meals a day. I considered it a ‘wifey’ accomplishment if I managed to dish up at least one meal a day. For the rest of the week we fed our faces at whatever restaurant tickled our fancy. Menus were plentiful and life was good. (Insert sound of screeching brakes here!)
After giving birth, along with all of the mental, physical and chemical changes ravaging my body, I must have been infected with the ‘Uber Mom’ gene. Suddenly I was inexplicably compelled to make three meals a day. I had no idea of the horrors that lay ahead! The Uber Mom, meal deal thing got off to a fairly good start because all of the child’s meals came from my bosom. Despite the intense pain and agony I was determined to let the child drain all of the breast milk that I had in me. But as it turned out my glands were poor providers. After a week or so of the breast feeding debacle my poor son appeared shriveled and malnourished and I was completely frazzled. Finally, to my husband’s relief, my doctor demanded I shut down my meager mammary factory before the boy starved to death.
Suddenly the sun began to shine. As time went on I was pleased to find that feeding him formula and baby food wasn’t nearly as distressing as I’d thought it would be. I delighted in choosing cute little jars filled with fruit and veggie purees or filling bottles with formula and adding a dash of iron fortified dry cereal here and there. The boy gobbled down my concoctions and I proudly dubbed myself ‘Top Chef.’ But alas the good times came to an end when the child along with his father grew tired of the tiny jars of strained peas and pureed apples and demanded real food. Just like that my chef’s hat along with the pots and pans in my kitchen began to spin out of control.
By my calculations I’ve cooked 1,095 meals a year since my son was born for a grand total of 15,877.5 meals and counting during the boy’s 14.5 years. The numbers are staggering and you’d think someone would appreciate such a feat. But Nooo! They’re both ungrateful eaters. Always with the question, ‘what’s for dinner?’ As if I woke up with the day’s meal plan pasted on my forehead. I’m also subjected to the constant grumbles, such as, “There’s never anything “good” here to eat,” “Why is the chicken so dry!”, Or “Why do you use ground turkey instead of beef in the spaghetti?” “We hate wheat bread!” And, “Are you trying ANOTHER new recipe?!” Grrrrr and double Grrrr!
If that isn’t bad enough, once I managed to whip up something that I think will make them happy I’m subjected to extreme scrutiny. First there’s the secret exchange of glances between father and son. One signaling the other to peek into the pots on the stove and scout the meal. The scout quickly sends out a ‘yay’ or ‘nay’ based on the visual. This is followed by the sneaky taste test. When they think my back is turned the boy or his father quickly samples the main dish and relays a hearty thumbs up or thumbs down. If it is a thumbs up they eat with a sigh of relief and I even get a few compliments. But, if it is a thumbs down, I get a string of whiny complaints like ‘You used too much garlic’, ‘It’s too spicy’, or ‘I had a big lunch and wasn’t really hungry’. They choke down a forkful or two and about an hour or so later, father and son are suddenly struck by an overwhelming desire for Taco Bell or Mickey D’s. Grrr! It’s enough to make any multi-tasking mom manic.
Enough! This vicious unending cycle has led me to only one conclusion–a strike! No longer will I be the victim of their fickle culinary whims. I am done rolling the dice on what to cook for dinner. They can spin the menu wheel and come up with the dinner of their choice. Finally I will have the chance to sit back and poo-poo each dish. Afterwards, I’ll calmly make my way to my favorite sushi restaurant where I will eat in peace and savor every bite. Aaaah!
P.S.–My strike lasted for a week and now hubby shares more of the cooking duties and the criticism. But he still absolutely refuses to step foot inside the grocery store!)