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!)