Day 328: Kids Family Dinner

Sometime around 5:30 the four of us huddle around our plastic folding table in the kitchen to have “dinner.” We aren’t so poor that we have to use outdoor tables inside, it’s just an oddly shaped space that apparently only fits furniture from the Rubbermaid collection. We could have one built for us, but that costs more than our house.

The table is really supposed to be used outside where the grass can hold it in place. On wood floors, it glides around like an air hockey puck, meaning one of us is always too far from or too close to our food. Our 2 year-old, who sits in a highchair, is the only stationary member of the dinner party, but he’s usually too busy taking his shirt off and spreading milk around with his hand-zamboni to let us use him as an anchor.

It’s supposed to be a family dinner – at least I think it is – but somehow Lindsay never makes enough food for the grown-ups. Last night, my rations were 1 “fish nugget,” 17 peas, and a small dollop of cinnamon applesauce. It reminded me of the meals my grandma used to make my grandpa the week after he had quadruple bypass surgery. My wife didn’t even have a plate. She was eating applesauce out of a plastic container while trying to convince our 4 year old that his peas weren’t too hot.

“Why do the kids have more food than me?” I asked jokingly. “Why don’t you just say, ‘Hey, I made dinner, but there isn’t any for you.'”

She laughed because she knows I don’t actually care, and would rather ridiculous things happen than for life to be boring and predictable.

“Oh, is that not enough?” she responded sarcastically, “I figured we could just finish what they don’t eat.”

That’s what it’s come to apparently; we gobble our children’s leftovers like unloved basement-dwelling stepchildren in a fairy tale. Sometimes I even eat stuff off their plates as I’m putting them in the dishwasher. We’re scavengers in our own house – watching in hunger and desperation, hoping our kids accidentally leave some food for us which we’ll scoop violently into our mouths with bare hands like forest people.

Some couples have dinner after their kids go to bed. That seems nice and romantic, but unfortunately our 4 year-old crashes at 7:30 and our 2 year-old is usually up partying his balls off until around 9:30, and since this isn’t Spain, we eat dinner before 10pm.

I guess we’ll just continue to have a kids meal at 5, and then after both kids are asleep, eat pie while watching Enlightened until we fall asleep holding forks.

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46 thoughts on “Day 328: Kids Family Dinner

  • Seriously…I can't bother to put eye make up on anymore if I'm gonna read your blog…it's a total waste cause I laugh so hard I cry everytime! Awesome writing…thanks for sharing!

  • I keep looking for the surveillance camera that is obviously hidden in my house. Otherwise, how would you be able to chronicle my life so accurately?

  • DOH! After The Trips go to bed, I prefer to snarf down frozen pizza and beer whilst watching The Biggest Loser (true story) in HOPES that someone will interrupt my dinner with a wheedling "I POOOOOOOPED," so that I can change said poopy diaper on the floor just next to the coffee table where my dinner is waiting. If I'm lucky, this happens three or four times, while dinner gets cold and beer gets warm. What can I say? The boys like to wait until they're maxin and relaxin to drop a deuce. Is there anything better? I think not.

  • I read this while eating my two year olds left overs from lunch at 11:00 at night and drinking a glass of wine. Todays parenting joys included an epic battle over bed time (as if he had never experienced this foreign concept and it didn't happen every night), and great tears and shouts of sorrow when I couldn't figure out what foot he was asking for and informed him that he had two fabulous feet of his own attached to his very own legs. :)

  • I actually am so poor I use an outdoor table inside. And I often don't eat until everyone else has because, I want them to have the available food.

    I believe in making light of these situations. Making heavy would collapse the table.

    Good for you making light too, regardless of the why's of your situations, and thus saving your furniture. And for seeing your family and not just your families issues.

  • Just found your blog and love it. Hand zamboni made me lol. I thought I was the only one who ate like this – I call it the 'last three bites' diet – I get to eat the last 3 bites of whatever my 3 year old doesn't finish. He's super picky and I get tired of cooking two seperate meals. I'm also pretty tired of chicken strips though, homemade or not. Sigh.

  • I never thought this was such a common eating situation – I just thought we were too cheap to make extra food!

  • ROFL, I swear I just sat down to read this after cleaning up the kitchen, while munching on some leftover halved grape tomatoes my 2 year old didn't finish. (I cut up way too many because they were the awesomest thing in the world, requiring loud cries and precarious leaning from our arms to get to, before we put him in his booster seat, and then suddenly they were gross.) And yes, sometimes we don't eat dinner until 10. Or occasionally 11. Our dinnertime comes down to "can we fix our own dinner before El Munchkino implodes from hunger crabbiness?".

  • You know, in some countries, pie IS the dinner. I would just tell people you're on an all pie diet, and roll with it. You won't lose weight, but you'll feel so much better about yourself, because you're calling it a diet. It works with all candy diets and all coffee diets, too.

  • are you kidding me Jason thats some funny shit, but you know that I was so poor growing up that us older kids had to eat their cereal with a fork so that the younger kids still had milk to eat theirs! Man just kidding but that was funny!

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