The dinner wars

Where did September go??? It feels like I blinked and the month has already gone by. I’ve adjusted well to back to work and as a family, we’re settling into a new routine. Of course, this new routine isn’t without its own share of bumps.

Bean has decided that she no longer wants to nap. Ok, fine. The problem is that she still needs to nap. This girl sails through her day on energy reserves, only to fall apart in the car on the way home from school every day. Every. Single. Day. My commute home, which used to be filled with chatter about Bean’s day, is now an exercise in mindful breathing (while still focusing on the road) and trying to stay calm despite the screaming threenager in the back seat. I try to help, but she seems to lose it over the littlest things and, like any typical threenager, fails to grasp what is logical and what is just plain crazy. (For example, today she was convinced that I knew what class she would be in next year and screamed “YES YOU DO! YOU DO KNOW!!!” at me for ten minutes. I tried humouring her by randomly picking a teacher at her school, but she saw right through that ploy and wouldn’t have any of it.) Then we arrive home where I am treated to even more screaming as I try to get dinner ready to eat. Then she resists going to sleep with the art of a stubborn mule, while I usually pass out, only to be woken up at 10pm when Hubby gets home.

 

tantrum by Simon Kellogg 7991331428_843b87ed8d_b

Photo: “Tantrum” by Simon Kellogg

 

Today’s pre-dinner breakdown was so ridiculous I had to laugh. We were having pasta, easy enough, right? As I’m draining the pasta Bean insists she wants to eat some. Here’s how this went down:
Bean: I want some pasta.
Me: Ok, it just needs to cool a bit. Do you want your pasta in a bowl or on a plate?
Bean: No. I just want some pasta.
Me: Ok, let me put a piece on a fork for you.
Bean: I don’t want a fork, I want to eat it with my hands.
Me: Ok, take this one. (I offer her a piece of pasta on the wooden spoon I’d been stirring the pot with.)
Bean: No, I don’t want a spoon. I don’t want anything! I just want to eat with my hands! (Her voice is starting to get louder and whiny.)
Me:  Ok, I’ll just put a few pieces of plain pasta on your placemat and you can eat them with your hands.
Bean: Don’t put it on my placement! It will be dirty!
Me: Ok, I’ll eat the pasta from your placemat then.
Bean: Don’t eat it! I want to eat it! I’m hungry.
Me: I hear you; you’re hungry. Do you want your pasta in a bowl or on a plate?
Bean: NO! I DON’T WANT ANYTHING. I WANT TO EAT THE PASTA OFF OF MY DRESS! (I might have made a rather surprised face at that comment…)
Me: I see. Why don’t you sit down and I’ll put some plain pasta on your dress for you to eat.
Bean: I DON’T WANT TO SIT DOWN!!! I JUST WANT TO EAT THE PASTA OFF OF MY DRESS WITH MY FINGERS! (complete with fists punching the air and foot stomping)

Some days I just want to laugh at the sheer ridiculousness of it all. (I feel like I need to interject to say that we have never let Bean eat off of her clothes before, but some times you need to pick your battles, and I decided that plain pasta on a dress was not battle-worthy.)

I’m lucky that Bean is a good eater (normally), but the overtired threenager I have to bring home every day is an ongoing exercise in patience. I have learned that I don’t have time to make anything fancy or elaborate for dinner during the week, and that if it takes longer than 30 minutes from start-to-table, then it’s not an option. Anything make-ahead is fantastic in theory… except that it would involve me not falling asleep while putting the girls to bed, haha. With the onset of fall I can get back to casseroles and homemade soups (prepared on the weekend of course, and then frozen and reheated when needed). And of course, my darling husband cooks dinner a few times a week too, which is also a huge help.

If you have any great quick dinner recipes that you want to share, I would be more than happy to try them out! Wishing all of you a happy, tantrum-free dinner!

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2 thoughts on “The dinner wars

  1. Her answer made me laugh 😀
    And look at you, still blogging too while being back at work and managing your family- you seem pretty organized to me! Keep it up!

    Like

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