DINNER complete with yelling, frustration and bargaining

Every so often I make it through the day and feel completely sane with endless amounts of patience. And then dinner time comes. I honestly cannot tell you how ridiculous this event can be in our household. It’s as if aliens come while I’m making dinner, steal my wonderful little munchkins and replace them with red eyed mutants that are fully prepared to unleash unearthly warfare on our mealtime. Tonight was no different than any other dinner in our house, complete with yelling, frustration and bargaining…

‘James sit down. Eat your dinner.’ I am going to win this time. I refuse to back down.

‘I don’t feel good’

‘You are fine. Eat your dinner.’

‘I don’t like any of this. It’s gross.’

‘It’s a hotdog and fries for crying out loud… what is there not to like?!?!’ He sees that I’m annoyed, and the red eyed mutant runs with the fact that he now has my attention.

‘It’s burnt. I don’t want the black stuff.’ He starts picking the skin off the hotdog. You’ve got to be kidding me.

‘I need more ketchup,’ Jocelyn chimes in. Oh my goodness… she is covered in it, and hasn’t eaten anything except condiments.

‘Look at that bird out there!’ James is out of his seat on his way to the back deck.

‘Where? I want to see it!’ Now Jocelyn is up and smearing ketchup all over the place as she ventures out to the back deck.

‘THAT’S IT… SIT IN YOUR SEATS. NOW.’ I am at the yelling stage now. They sit down and James spills his lemonade.

‘You have got to be kidding me. This is why you need to be sitting in your seat.’ I get up to get some paper towel. He starts crying. He must be upset that he made such a mess.

‘There’s no… more… lem… (sniff) o… (sniff) nade left!!!’ He’s only upset there’s no lemonade. Ridiculous.

‘You can have water. Eat your hotdog.’ He is hysterical. Where’s Jocelyn? She’s on the back deck again. Now I’m at the frustration stage.

‘Mommy… It’s sunny, I need sunscreen.’

‘Get inside and sit in your seat otherwise you’re having a timeout and I’m taking your blanket away.’

‘Noooo… I don’t want a timeout… don’t take my blanket.’ The tears start streaming down her face. I’m going to go off the deep end. James is still picking off every grill mark off from the hotdog skin.

‘Have five bites of the hotdog, ten french fries and then you can have a freezie’. I am resorting to the bargaining stage. They manage to fulfill their end of the bargain and I reluctantly give them their freezie. Great, now I reward terrible behaviour. Oh well… there’s always tomorrow.

dinnertimeAt the end of the day I can say one thing… I have yet to perfect this parenting thing. I struggle daily with some tasks and yet other things come easily all the time. Dinnertime is most certainly a task that I struggle with. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. The most frustrating part is that they are almost always on their best behaviour when we go out for meals or we are at other people’s dinner tables. To all the moms out there that have yet to perfect their family mealtime routines… you are not alone!!! And maybe, just maybe, one day you will wonder if aliens have abducted your children and replaced them with perfectly well mannered dinner guests. Probably not… but one can dream.


DINNER complete with yelling, frustration and bargaining — 6 Comments

    • And I find at the end of the day I have far less patience than at the beginning. Oh well… work in progress I guess 😉

  1. {Melinda} If it makes you feel any better, your dinner routine doesn’t sound much different than mine and mine are teenagers! 🙂 You’re a great mama. You’re eating dinner TOGETHER and that’s what counts, even though it’s messy. 🙂

    • I guess I never thought about the success of eating together, just the failure of poor table manners… thanks for the great insight!

  2. It’s a tough part of day for me too – always has been, no matter the time of year. I have my crashing point. Unfortunately my husband often works late and there’s no way the baby and the kid can wait for him. I think it’s great you eat together! That’s something we are far lacking in. Maybe it’s something we can make a habit of on weekends.

    • I hear you about the scheduling. My hubby works 12 hour shift work and I too work afternoons sometimes. We make a point of eating one meal a day together… even if it’s a total disaster!! I’m glad I’m not alone with this struggle!