In fact. I hate dinner. There I said it.
Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I have a strange phobia about touching other people’s dirty cutlery. Maybe it’s that bolognaise sauce somehow manages to find its indelibly red, red, reddy, redness over the entire surface of our very white dinner table. And at inexplicable points around the living room that the kids haven’t touched or even been.
Or maybe, maybe it’s that no matter what I’m serving, my three year old twins want home made pizza.
Unless, of course, I’m serving home made pizza.
In which case, no.
On further investigation… Perhaps, well perhaps it’s because of the post dinner time face wash that I do so loathe. Bacteria laden face washers. Face washers that were once white but now appear grey and bacteria-y, no matter how much time they’ve spent at one with the napisan.
Dinner time falls at that insidious hour between afternoon fun and games and 7pm bedtime, where ones enthusiasm for being upright and breathing has somewhat diminished, and the call of the couch is strong.
Let me make this clear. I love food. I love it. I love cooking it, eating it, looking at it in magazines. I even love the way Matt Preston moves food around in his mouth on Masterchef like he’s eating something the dog coughed up and then proclaims it as inspired.
But somehow, feeding your children, well at times it sucks a little bit of le joie de vivre out of la cuisine.
What I am learning is that the more effort you put in to a meal, the less likely it is that your kids will want to eat it and the more likely it is to be pushed around the plate for half an hour before one of them pipes up with “my tummy is filled of this”.
And, unpredictablity! My son will happily wolf down a mountainous bowl of spicy Thai green curry when it suits him, but give him a potato in any form, be it boiled, mashed, baked, roasted or fried…and a biochemical melt down of epic proportion occurs. The same son that once snuck an entire bag of tomatoes out of the fridge and started hoeing into them bite by succulent bite, but tomato soup??? Well that would just be crazy.
Another thing about dinner. Sitting. How is sitting on a seat so hard? You know what’s easier? Twisting. Contorting. Writhing. Feet up, feet out, feet under, fall off, back on, pushed out, pushed in, backwards, sideways, facing anywhere but the plate of food even if they have to almost break their own backs to assume the position they’re in. Television definitely off otherwise time taken to raise spoon from bowl escalates from 14 seconds to seven and a half minutes between mouthfuls. And my daughter is already the current world record holder of longest time taken to chew and swallow a single grain of rice, so time is at a premium.
We thought we were clever. Aha, we thought. Dinner time races!!!! Who can eat their dinner the fastest??? Yes!!!!
We should’ve known better. Bad idea. Terrible idea. Sing songy “I winned youuuuuuu, nya nya nya nya nya”, responded to with “no you didn’t win me!!!! No you didnt!!!! It’s not a RACE!!! Mummy it’s not a race is it???? MUMMMMMMMYYYY” etcetera etcetera.
There are saving graces of course. Weetbix isn’t involved at dinner time. Weetbix that should be, if it isn’t already (and I’m pretty sure it is), an active ingredient in the agent that sets concrete. Weetbix that has to be scraped off the dinner table with a paint scraper if it’s not wiped up within .05 of a second that it hits any surface. Hooray for no weetbix at dinner time.
We have to celebrate the small victories, am I right?
Until, that is, someone asks for weetbix at dinner time.