If you were a fly on the wall, not only would I swat you along with the 45 other flies that I've killed today, but this is what you would hear over the course of a Britton dinner.
"I want ranch!" "Okay, please wait." "Are you getting their food? I just did." "I want ranch!" "Okay, please wait." "What IS this?" "Chicken." "Chicken what?" "Chicken something." "I don't like it. It looks gross. What are those little green things in it?" "Excuse me? This is your dinner. You're going to eat it and love it. Those little green things are basil, they won't hurt you." "I want ranch!" "Yes. I know, now stop asking." "Who wants to pray?" ..... silence .... "okay, Dad will." "Amen." "I want ranch!" "Okay, seriously, everyone stop talking until all your food AND ranch are on your plate." "Time for hi-lows. Who's first?" "Me!" "No, ME! You ALWAYS go first." "Okay, you go first." "Please put a bite of food in your mouth." "S'gusting." (That's disgusting in Malachi-ese) "Do you want to go to bed with no dinner?" "No." "Then don't say that, and eat your food." "Where are you going?" "The bathroom." "No, sit down and eat. You can go when you are done." "PLEASE put food in your mouth." "Don't feed the dog!" "If you don't start eating right now, there is no dessert tonight." "It's too spicy!" "No it isn't. Put more ranch on it." "Stop talking and put the food in your mouth!" "Okay fine, you're done. No more food tonight. No dessert. You need to learn to be thankful for the food on your plate."
Okay, so maybe that was a little extreme/intense, but sometimes that is all I feel like I hear/say at dinner. It's not super relaxing, nor does it aid in my digestion, as I scarf down my own meal in 3.5 seconds in between scolding the kids for not eating; because my food was already mostly cold when I sat down to eat, and I'd like to enjoy the warm dish while possible.
Here's the truth. Aaron works evenings, often. There are fundraisers every other day (or so it seems) at good 'ol Chick-fil-a for one kid or another. So what's a mom to do? I don't much feel like making a "grown-up" meal for 4 kids who would prefer applesauce and tater tots. So I usually cave. We eat breakfast for dinner a lot around here. We go to Chick-fil-a .... a lot. It's just hard sometimes to face dinner alone with the kids.
Tonight, however, was one of the beloved fundraising dinners at, yes, Chick-fil-a. (I wonder if this blog post will appear as number 1 when someone googles Chick-fil-a.) I completely forgot that I had told the kids we could go there tonight for dinner, and instead was all on top of my "game" before they came home from school. I had all the veggies chopped and ready to go into my Garden Pasta. (Not a favorite for the kids, as it contains no pre-frozen mystery meat and waaayyyy too many little green mystery things.) They begged and pleaded, and got their way. I put the pretty veggies in the fridge, and off we went. But unlike SOME moms I know (ahem, ANGIE), I don't LOVE Chick-fil-a. (In fact, I'm probably not even spelling it right.) I'm also on a bit of a health kick lately. I've lost 13 pounds since August, and I'd like to keep moving in the right direction. So if I'm gonna cheat, it won't be at Chick-fil-a.
So what did I do? I bought the kids (and Aaron) their dinner, came home and plopped them all down with their tender chicken strips and fries. I, however, used that time to take my shower for the day. (I know, it was 5:30pm ... it was a busy day.) Me? I was going to wait for my dinner. Tonight I was making a reservation for one. Aaron was heading back to work after dinner, so I did the bedtime routine thing, then made my way back to the kitchen.
I found the most amazing find at COSTCO over the weekend. Butternut Squash filled Ravioli with sage and nutmeg spice. OH.MY.WORD. No one but me in my family would like them. Aaron gags just at the thought of butternut squash, and the kids would find some reason to not like it, I'm sure. But since it was just me, I plopped a package into some boiling water, cut up some fresh bread that I had also bought at COSTCO (along with some olive oil/balsalmic dipping sauce), laid out a nice pretty salad, poured a glass of wine, and sat down. By myslef. At 8:00 pm. Soft music in the backround. And I just ate. I cut my food into small pieces. I sipped some wine in between bites, and I just sat there .... quiet... when I was full. I didn't have to dish out ranch dressing, I didn't have to remind anyone to put food in their mouth, or not put their feet on the table, or to be thankful for their food. It was glorious.
I understand that one day my heart will ache when my dinner table sits empty, apart from Aaron and myself. But I was perfectly okay with the empty, still, quiet table tonight. And I think that's okay.
Off to rummage up some dessert, because I was a good girl. I ate all my dinner. (Actually, I didn't. I was full after half the portion I had dished out for myself. Guess I got carried away at the thought of dishing up adult size portions.)
|(No, I didn't just plop my food on the table, my plate is black as is the table, thank you!)|