Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Diary of a War-Torn Dinner Table

Well hello there old friend! Now that C is in preschool I have a little more time available to not do housework! I also recently purchased a chintzy little tablet from WalFart, which broke our 2 year streak of living in the early 90s and not having a computer after mine fried.

We are currently engaged in Dinner Table War I at our house. I remember dinner time when I was really young and I still have PTSD so I wanted to try a different approach with my kids. My parents did nothing wrong but I remember lots of tears because I was a brat and didn't want to eat what my mom cooked. I couldn't appreciate the colossal pain-in-the-ass of cooking just one meal, let alone two. Honestly I just thought my mom had some sort of disorder where she couldn't conceptualize that if she'd just make me my goddamn mac and cheese without me having to ask (and by ask I mean pitch a fit) we could just bypass the drama altogether. It took many years but I finally submitted to the brainwashing and relented. Today I am feeling the effects of this sort of parental Stockholm Syndrome, as I can empathize with their plight.

I had (wrongly) decided that I would allow C two options: 1. Eat what I made; and 2. Peanut butter toast. I was hoping that she would at least be curious about what her dad and I were eating and try it (before being disgusted). Soon enough I was making Easy Mac on autopilot. Like my mom said when I was in 6th grade and she allowed me to only wear lip gloss and I came downstairs for school wearing lip gloss AND silver (lay off, it was 1996) eyeshadow, "I gave you an inch and you took a mile."

I was outsmarted by my opponent and, because I have been in a sleep-deprived fog since T was born, I just waved that white flag and ceded control. A couple days ago I snapped out of it and realized that shes never gonna learn to make healthy food choices, and she has to eat what I made or *cringe* go hungry and go to bed.

This is KILLING ME. Here is my DTWI diary:

Night 1
To my foe's shock and dismay,  the dinner Blitzkrieg has commenced. She never saw it coming and handed me a container of Easy Mac. I engaged the enemy and a Battle Royale ensued. I lost: thirty mintes after being banished to exile (aka her room), I heard the joyful singing of "Let It Go" replace the agonizing wail from the enemy's camp. I went to investigate and found my opponent sitting on her bed, amidst discarded Welch's Fruit Snacks wrappers. Somehow she had smuggled contraband, my own bribery weapon, and used it against me. Defeated,  I retreated to my base camp ( marked by laundry baskets of clean, folded clothes that will never end up in dressers or closets).

Night 2
After dance class, the enemy was literally eating out of the palm of my hand. Scarfing down carrot sticks! This is good, I thought to myself.  Perhaps we are turning a corner and peace will be restored.  I praised her for making Good Food Choices and hoped to continue the truce. No such luck. There were tears from her and I both, and I vowed to sit at that damn table until 3 bites were consumed. So we sat. And sat. And sat. Then her baby brother looked me dead in the eye, bore down, gave 'er hell, and waged Jihad on his diaper.  I got up to change his diaper. Upon returning, my opponent had silently excused herself from  the table, retreated to the living room and turned on Beauty & The Beast. I turned it off, picked her up and placed her back in her chair, wondering if I had overlooked a key player for the enemy - the baby with the ability to poop and allow her to escape. I decided to rename this mission Operation Trust No One. At this time I was relieved by my fellow troop. After roughly 45 minutes of relaxed snuggling on baby boy, I again heard silence and inquired of the enemy's position. She had fallen asleep. No food was consumed. She is steadfast in her hunger strike.  I am beginning to question my fortitude here in the trenches.

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