"I'm hungry, when's dinner?" Sound familiar? I hear it every day starting around 4:00 pm. Of course my first thought is "What, didn't I just feed you yesterday?!!"
But, apparently children need to be fed each and every day...multiple times a day in fact. Sheesh. My husband and I both grew up in homes where dinner was at the table, all of us at the same time, every day.
By the time we got married, he'd been a single dad for several years, and dinnertime had kind of fallen apart for him and the kids. He had a nanny, and she fed the kids before he got home from work, so he would either eat the leftovers, standing in the kitchen, or nuke a burrito. I had fallen into the habit of eating dinner from the pan at the stove.
We knew we had this family to make...so we started with dinner. Together, at the table. And boy was it a hassle. The kids fought and complained about the food. They complained that they couldn't watch "Sponge Bob" during dinner. "What do you mean, I can't read at the table?"
And so it went. Hurry up with dinner, so we can be out the door with the Karate Kid for his seven pm class. Or Ballerina Girl for her seven pm class. Youth group on Wednesdays. Etc. The battles over food and talking nice to each other continued.
I can't tell you how many times I wanted to give up, and just run them through the drive thru on our way to wherever. Just to have a little less stress and a little more peace.
Yet, now that two of the kids are grown and out of the house, when you ask them their favorite thing about growing up, they'll tell you it was when their dad and I got married and we started having dinner together every night. Regardless of what was going on, it was something they could always count on. Hmmm? Kids !!