Dear fellow parents,
I don’t know about you, but there are three times of day that give me more problems than the other 21 hours of the day: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I don’t know why, but my previous easy-going, “eat everything with no complaint” children have morphed into miniature people that have new-found opinions about meals and scarf down any and all food that they like. The Wierder combinations of food the better. And they let me know very quickly if what I make sucks.
The thing is, some of the time they are right. Granted, I like to cook and part of me found cooking a type of therapy before I had children. There was something soothing about being in the kitchen and creating a masterpiece of a meal to be savored with a nice glass of wine over dinner with my spouse. Now, meals feel like an episode of the Hunger Games, where I am literally trying to stay alive and not be pushed into a pot of boiling ravioli or hit with flying bananas.
They want me to be a short order cook. Today’s menu as follows: for one child its peanut butter with no jelly, a pineapple (whole with the spiky things on it), plates of brownies, four cups of ice, and half a leftover burger from last week. For the other it’s hummus with “crackers that have white spots on them”, 3 carrots, some Sour Patch Kids, an apple with seeds (WHY?) and peanut butter sandwich that has jelly on the corner and no where else. If it’s ANYWHERE else, an entire meltdown will ensue and I will be forced to walk the plank along with Jake and the Neverland Pirates. Sigh. (Can I tell you how many times I’ve walked the damn plank today?).
No matter what I make, they end up hating it, not eating it, throwing it all over the floor, themselves, me, our dog, or the carpet. Currently, their bedroom looks like a person was murdered in there because a few (make that four) strawberry nutra-grain bars are smashed so deep into the carpet, I may never get it out. I actually miss the days of spit up (what am I saying?) because it was easier to clean than 4000 goldfish crackers that have been crunched into a glass of milk to show me what “they have been cooking for MY lunch”.
And when it comes to me eating, at this point, it’s a lost cause. It’s pretty much the most violent part of the day when I know some small, tribal person will sneak from behind a couch or out of the pantry and creep towards me wielding a kids broom set and a Superman cape. They lunge – I duck, and still they seem to fly through the air and land in my lap, my perfect salad or the guacamole and chips I’ve been eyeing for the last 72 hours are now theirs. This is the real Hunger Games here, folks, and I’m literally just trying to survive, till Daddy comes home at least.