Day 2: Dinner on a weeknight

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.

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14 thoughts on “Day 2: Dinner on a weeknight

  1. Dinner can be difficult. When my son was a toddler I felt so guilty for spending so much time at work/school. Luckily he was an easy eater.He ate bananas then–all the time, so it was easy to keep him happy from car to home. Hard to believe he is thirteen now! Wishing you a week of easy dinners.

  2. Sending you good mealtime vibes. I just attempted to eat my dinner with my boypie and that…didn’t work at all and now I’m starving and pumping and reading SOL stories while I stuff my face with some snack mix and some chocolate I found at the bottom of my diaper bag. I guess that’s a win. Hang in there!

  3. Yup – sounds like dinner time in my house back in the day. Have a glass of wine, my friend, find a moment just for you.

  4. I don’t have kids of my own yet, but this is what I hear from my friends, too. My favorite line is you whispering under your breath, “You’re not the boss of me.” Reminds me of a blogger I follow – Scary Mommy…have you read her stuff? Hope you get some you time before the night is through!

  5. I had to laugh at the “hangry” thing. I can get angry when I go without food for too long, too!

    Getting everyone fed is a BIG accomplishment. It’s okay if it doesn’t look pretty…just as long as it gets done. Give yourself a pat on the back and a glass of wine!

  6. You write with such voice. It brought me back to when my kids were toddlers. I just bought a crock pot last month and I’ve been whipping these amazing roasts- you just gave me an idea for what I will write about tomorrow!

  7. Dinner gets better with age. Take care of your aching brain! What a true image that plagues us all-aching brain!

  8. It won’t last forever, but then you’ll be wishing to be back in the toddler stage. Life moves quickly, just savor the moments Gigi is the boss of you. (I second Tara’s glass of wine)

  9. I don’t know what I can add to the three wise women who commented before me. Hang in there…. it does get easier, eventually. Remember to take a deep breath and count to 10, and yes… treat yourself to something just for you every once in a while.

  10. Yes, those dinner and evening hours can be long and tiresome. (Thanks for laugh though — I’ve been there … crying on the floor, “You’re not the boss of me …”) 🙂 I’m still dealing with the picky eaters … and some weeks I wonder how many times I can serve up “whole grain” chicken nuggets. That’s a food group, right? You do what you can … and it will get easier.

  11. My friend used to call that time the “howling” hours.

  12. raeily

    I’m with you on that. Every meal is a battle and I rarely win.

  13. Truth! Be not afraid and when there are more…DO NOT give into the separate dinner mentality! I am not a short order cook and the things I make are good enough for all! That sounds angrier than it should. But for real, a working mom (or any mom) can’t make multiple dinners.

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