On the days that I have to pick Gigi up from daycare our rides home can be long. Despite the fact that she has a snack as “school” and a snack in the car she is usually tired and hungry by the time we get home. A tired and hungry toddler is a dangerous creature.
I don’t spend a lot of time preparing dinner. I usually toss some combination of a fruit, a carb, and a cheese on a plate before I flop into a dining room chair and rub my aching brain. For starters there usually isn’t much time before critical mass is hit. The atomic bomb has nothing on a “hangry” kid. Then there’s the fact that she is very likely to refuse to eat what I’ve put in front of her. That’s if I’m lucky. If I’m unlucky I scrape it off the floor silently sobbing to myself and whispering under my breath “you’re not the boss of me.”
Sometimes I get lucky and she’s in a good mood. We chat as she eats and I make myself something or sit down and just join her. Usually I buy silence and sanity with an episode of Daniel Tiger.
Dinner on a weeknight is mostly about getting everyone fed without having any major accidents, meltdowns, or child welfare checks. Sometimes it’s a nice “family dinner.” But mostly it’s just a matter of survival.