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Dining With Divas- A Short Memoir of Eating with my Children

Dinner time in my house is something of a cluster and I’m partially to blame. One of the most uncomfortable feelings for me is going to bed hungry. In fact, I’ve never gone to bed hungry because I physically can’t go to sleep hungry. That being said, for me to implement the rule of “this is dinner and if you don’t like it, starve,” was impossible.

If my sons went to bed hungry, I pictured them looking like pale, tiny little orphans, roaming the streets of London in 1833 for something to eat. Look, I have no idea why that is what I’m envisioning, apparently that’s what hunger looks like to me. I also have visions of them telling their teachers the next morning that mommy starved them.

As a kid, I never went to bed hungry. My mom hated to cook and my father was always working at our restaurant (ironic, isn’t it). Every night we went out so we always found something we liked to eat. On the rare occasion she cooked one of her 3 staples, stuffed peppers, chili or meatloaf; my 2 sisters and I would show a united front, break her spirit by whining about dinner then eat PB&J’s.

Karma’s a Bitch!

And now I have my own willful children. Below are just a few things that have been uttered at my table at least once over the past decade:

  • That’s the wrong color macaroni and cheese!
  • Those aren’t the right noodles (referring to the switch from linguine to angel hair one night)!
  • You forgot my straw (upon realization I had forgotten my son’s straw, God forgive my sin!)?
  • I can’t eat this ham (referring to the black rim of black forest ham)!

Me: I’ll peel it off.

Son: No! It’s not the right ham!

  • I’m not eating that (my youngest, during his introduction to a grilled chicken breast. After an hour, he took 1 bite and declared it the worst thing ever).
  • You put salt and pepper on my macaroni and cheese? Now its ruined!
  • I don’t like melted cheese!
  • Mashed potatoes are disgusting.
  • I prefer the cup macaroni and cheese over the boxed macaroni and cheese.
  • Steak (referring to the $12 filet mignon in front of him)? This is gross, I’m not eating this! Don’t ‘cha know I hate steak?
  • This is gross (both sons, at some point after no less than an hour spent on the dinner).

Now that my sons are a little older (13 and 9), it’s gotten somewhat better but not by much (again, my fault). When I put together a salad, I must offer Carter (9) carrots. He would rather eat salad without dressing (which I think is grosser) than with ranch dressing. It’s un-American to not like ranch dressing. It’s unkid-like too! When we have shrimp over a bed of linguine and white sauce, I find myself warming up a cup of spaghetti sauce so he can have spaghetti since he hates shrimp.

The irony is, I absolutely hate fish and my boys like it. To get people off my back who won’t leave me alone to try fish, I simply tell them I’m allergic and my throat will close up if I eat it. Aside from relatives who know this isn’t true, it usually works. I’m not allergic to anything but the thought of eating something that looks like a gull bladder (raw oysters) or snot (squid), is on par with a Fear Factor challenge. I don’t think so buddy.

Parker loves fish tacos and Carter loves salmon. How the hell did that happen when I can’t stomach seafood? Correction, I can stomach the following 2 seafoods:

  • Filet-O-Fish
  • Fish sticks

Breading makes everything better. In fact, I’ll leave you with one last story.

Sushi Virgin

Against my better judgement, I agreed to try sushi with my cousin F. F assured me there is fried sushi out there called tempura. What he didn’t tell me is it’s only an itty-bitty piece of the entire sushi roll that’s fried. Honestly, I thought they made the roll then dropped it in the fryers like french fries at Mc Donald’s. Batter and frying makes EVERYTHING taste better so I was totally on board. When the roll came out, I was convinced I had received the wrong order. I was expecting something that looked like 6 hush puppies, instead I received sushi. I tried it and just accepted at that moment, I don’t like it.

Your turn! What do your kids complain about? Are you a short order cook too?


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13 thoughts on “Dining With Divas- A Short Memoir of Eating with my Children

  1. Ok so the toddler over the summer was in a “eat what’s prepared or don’t eat” house. My regular family that I nanny for isn’t. A lady prepares dinner which is ready at around 330/4ish and everyone just eats when they are hungry. And if the kids don’t want it, the mom says they have to at least have a little before anything else but that never happens.

      1. Um not really. My line is: eat what’s prepared and no snack drawer until after dinner. Last night the youngest “wasn’t feeling well” and dinner was making her feel sick so I offered to make her toast and she asked for chicken fingers. So it was “nope – eat what’s on the stove, toast, or anything in the fridge” cos the fridge is over flowing with food. She ended up eating cereal. Thankfully she asked first for that option but I’m not making more food because they are being picky. I think the major part of the issue is that we don’t eat together. If we sat down as a “family” and ate, it would break a lot of bad habits

        1. Well I applaud you for standing your ground! Go you. Sometimes I’m an empty shell of a woman and I’m like, “eating anything that isn’t beer”. LOL! You have a snack drawer? Ha! Our snack drawer is the pantry. I’m amazed how I can have an entire box of Little Debbies and they’re gone within 24 hours!

          1. Their family has a snack drawer which has snacks for school but that doesn’t stop any of the kids. I say not to eat out of it and as soon as I turn around they have their hands in it. I honestly give up sometimes. I’ve gotten in trouble once or twice for them eating crap for dinner. But I can only ask so many times and try to stop them so many times before I just have to give up. It’s not worth my time or energy to try like 20 times to stop an 11 year old from making toast cos he doesn’t want to eat dinner.

            1. They really should include children in torture tactics with prisoners of war b/c they have a way of breaking their guard with their tenacity when they want something. Ya know? It really is futile after so long. All you can do is your best!

  2. I don’t have this problem (yay me!). But my friend just yesterday was telling me about her 7 year old refusing the pancakes, sausage, and eggs she woke up early to make for her kids first day back to school. The kid literally shoved the plate of food across the table and said, “I’m not eating this garbage!” When my friend told her it would be her only meal of the day if she kept up the attitude, her daughter then screamed, “Where’s the stupid syrup?” Where the hell do kids get off talking to their parents like that!?

    Also, a sushi place I frequent has actual fried sushi called a creamy crunch crab roll. Do you like crab? It’s so freakin’ delicious!

    1. If it doesn’t taste super like crab, then yes, I could do that. As for that 7-year-old. What the hell? That takes a lot of nerve to talk to your parents like that. Especially after all the love and preparation that went in it. Who says that? I would have already spanked my kids if they said that.

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