Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Overheard at Our House

I don't know how it is at your house, but at our house, dinner time seems to be a time of constant negotiation. I never intended it to be this way and frankly, it drives me crazy. (I guess the upside is that it may prove useful one day if they ever get to mediate between two parties in a war or something. Maybe then, when my children have successfully brought about world peace, all this dickering at the dinner table will have been worth it!) Where did I go wrong, that my kids, instead of just gratefully gobbling down their dinner, feel the need to bargain and negotiate?

"How many bites of this do I need to take?"

"What do I have to do to get another piece of bread?" (At least it's homemade whole wheat.)

"Do I have to eat my vegetables? All of them?"

"Is there going to be dessert tonight?" --I know they are wondering if it's even worth it to eat the dreaded broccoli, green beans, barley, or whatever other poison their wicked mother is force feeding them.

Last night was no exception. Kimball had opted to not eat dinner at all when he saw that our dinner was roasted zucchini and chicken caesar salad (with the chicken on the side, out of respect for his hamburgertarian ways.) But when he realized that it was Family Home Evening night, he concluded that there would probably be dessert of some kind later. So he asked me to serve him some zucchini. As it was the only thing he planned to eat, I gave him a generous portion--over half a cup, I'd say, more than I'd generally give a child if they were eating other food with their dinner. He took one look at it and asked,

"Mom, how much do I have to eat?"

"The whole plate, dear," I replied.

Kimball got a twinkle in his eye and said, "Do I have to eat the zucchini, too?"

I laughed out loud at his cleverness, and then corrected myself. He did not need to eat the whole plate. Just all of the zucchini. He did and got to be the one to finish off the lemon cream cheese pie that I'd made for Easter (incidentally, he hadn't had it on Sunday because all he would eat for dinner was fruit salad and dinner rolls. That just shows you how mean I am, even on Easter. It's not like he hadn't eaten half a pound of chocolate earlier in the day anyway!)


scrap chair potato said...

Very clever, very funny.
Something similar happened with Ned today. He had me laughing when I should have scolded him. So naughty! :)

Christine said...

Kimball is a very witty guy- I think it comes with being smart- :)

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine were he gets his sense of humor.
His proud Papa.

Anonymous said...

Your not alone we have the same conversation at our dinner table...

Erika said...

Ha ha. I sure wish you guys lived closer so we could enjoy some of these funny sayings first hand :-)

Out of curiosity, did you mean to say
"dickering" at the dinner table or "bickering"?

An Ordinary Mom said...

I have the world's pickiest eaters eating at my table and it drives me bonkers, but I try not to battle it too much or it pushes me over the edge :) !!

Michal said...

i actually meant to say dickering, which is a bargaining process. i just had used the words negotiate and bargain a few too many times!:) but bickering would apply as well some nights!:)

Mahina said...

i wonder the same thing! i dread dinner because there is always some sort of complaint or whine! i seriously do not look forward to dinner because of it. sad, i know! i would say 5 out of 7 nights every week lala will go to bed without eating anything! she chooses to go to bed hungry than to eat my "horrible" food! of course, she refuses to even try 1 bite before she declares that she doesn't like it!

makes me bonkers! and now, it looks like the baby is following in her footsteps. i hope it's just teething!

Erika said...

Cool! I didn't learn that word in my essay fundamentals class my senior year of high school...or maybe I did? Thanks for teaching me something new!

Yvonne said...

I detest meal times, for this exact reason. You would think that I would be thinner...I often exuse myself from the table before a meal is over, because I feel an eruption from Mt. Mommy building! Good luck....I am SURE that our children will thank us, someday. (when they have their own, perhaps!)

My Ice Cream Diary said...

YES! I love knowing I'm not the only mom who spends her evening meal in constant negotiations. And I am just as "mean". The only times I hear, "WOW, Mom, this is the best dinner ever. You are a good cook, mom," from every kid at the table is when I serve hotdogs and heat up a can of corn.

Sonja said...

Yep, your not alone in the battle to get your kids to eat healthy food. The odds are stacked against us. I'm impressed with your gumption and Kimball's wit. Don't you just love that eye sparkle?

mmm...lemon cheesecake. I'd eat a plate for that.

Angela said...

This is so funny- I have had the same question in my mind- why can't you just eat what you are served! Thanks for a good read

Mrs. Morty said...

Hey, just a random blog stalker, one of Scrappy's friends. This is so how our dinners go EVERY night. You're not alone.

Rebecca said...

Clever kid. I think he and Professor would get along well.

Lemon cream cheese pie? I want the recipe! Mmmmm