The dinner time ritual

Let me paint you a wonderful picture:

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A family is sitting down for dinner. Mom and dad are pulling the delicious meal from the oven, maybe putting a few sides in bowls and placing them on the table, the kids are adorning the table with napkins and forks. Everyone sits down to enjoy the meal mom and/or dad labored over for at least the last 45 minutes. UNTIL….

“I’m not hungry.”

“BLEH.”

“Done!”

Welcome to my hell. Yes, dinner time is my actual hell. Feeding two kids under the age of 5 is actual torture. If the CIA/FBI/NCIS/Any other acronym you can think of really wants information from someone, ask them to cook a dinner and sit down to enjoy that dinner with toddlers. I promise you, they will give up any information they are holding on to.

Dinner in my house seems to be done before it even gets started. Most recipes take 30 minutes (plus the prep time). I am averaging 45 minutes in the kitchen, which in the scheme of things it isn’t that long, but when you sit down to eat that meal and your kid won’t even take a bite and the other one is picking at the broccoli, you wonder what the heck you are doing it all for.

Will they eat chicken nuggets and mac & cheese every night if you let them? ABSOLUTELY. Do you want to feed your kids chicken nuggets and mac & cheese every night? ABSOLUTELY! But you realize that as the grown up in this situation, you have to make tough choices, and for whatever reason that means you put yourself through self-inflicted torture of making a meal you yourself are probably half-excited about to feed to a pond of flesh hungry piranhas for them to say they are done after licking their fork.
Forget that 5 minutes before dinner was ready, your kids were on the verge of disintegrating because they were so famished. Forget that they were whining about needing food NOW and you promised them food in just five minutes. Dinner literally just needed to be taken out of the oven, placed on the table, then onto their plates. Yet, somewhere in that point of dying because they were so hungry and sitting down at the table, the three animal crackers in their bellies turned into a 5 course meal and their stomachs are magically full. Who knew I was experiencing a miracle every night at the dinner table!

So if your dinner table looks anything remotely like mine, don’t despair. All you can do is put food on the table, get the kids to sit for 5.7 seconds, and just know that they will never be so hungry that they will actually disintegrate. Then try to enjoy an unplanned romantic meal by yourself or with your significant other while the the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme song in the background sets the mood.

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