"We always eat dinner together"
"We love to eat meals as a family when my Husband gets home from work"
"It's important to eat dinner as a family"
My husband doesn't normally get home in time for us to eat dinner together but today he managed to get back by 5.
When he said he would be back early of course I was delighted that I had someone to share the load with, the struggle and stress of dinnertime. Then I thought....Fabulous. Let's do it. Let's all have dinner as a family.
I got the dinner ready (fish, chips and mushy peas in case you are interested) after I had given Lucas his dinner (he eats and 4.30 so he has longer between his dinner and bottle - it's all about him being sick but that is a different story)
I had covered everything. I was prepared to share my fish and chips with Thomas but had a back up of beef casserole, mash and carrots just in case. I wasn't going to let him catch me out! Thomas decided he wanted the casserole option. I am cleverer than him so I still saved some of my dinner in case he had a change of heart when I had dished up.
So dinner was on the table. Lucas was in his highchair and getting restless so we were trying to keep him happy by giving bits of our dinner (chips - naughty)
Trying to ignore the whinging and noise of Lucas we carried on with dinner. Thomas seemed happy with his casserole and mash so I sneaked into the kitchen and got the rest of my dinner, secretly happy that he didn't want any because actually I am not keen on sharing my food. Thomas then decided he didn't like casserole anymore.
Trying to stay calm we said not to worry and just to eat the mash and carrot. He was happy to do this as long as he had salad cream on his plate. Then he was just playing with his food. Meanwhile Phil and I were eating as fast as we could so we could give Lucas attention (and so Thomas couldn't nick food from our plates)
He then decided that he didn't want any salad cream and cried because a bit of salad cream had managed to get onto a bit of potato. We negotiated and offered to feed him in the hope that this may speed things up and get him to eat some food. He had a think and decided this was something he would agree to. All was going well until again a bit of salad cream crept onto some potato. This was the end of the world.
We explained that dinner was served half an hour ago, he had hardly eaten any and Lucas had been sitting in his highchair for over an hour. He didn't seem to bother about this.
Eventually after being spoon fed like a baby most of the mash was finished. I offered a yogurt which was gratefully received. Phew......I had a few minutes to try to tidy up the plates and the food which we tried to bribe Lucas with from on the floor. Until Thomas cried because he didn't like the look of that yogurt. He wanted a strawberry yogurt. How a 2 year old can tell the flavour of a yogurt just by looking at it is beyond me!
At this point I told him to get down and was just pleased it was all over. I cling filmed the yogurt and put it in the fridge to try again tomorrow.
So am I in the minority? Am I the only person this happens to or am I missing something? How this can be relaxing family bonding time I am not sure.
Don't get me wrong I think it is important to eat as a family so children know eating should be a relaxing, pleasurable experience. I eat breakfast and lunch with the children (most of the time) but for now I think evening meals will be enjoyed with a glass of wine when they are in bed.