Ya'll have heard me whine about eating with children once or 1,000 times. And I have to admit, for the past few months I have been pretty lame about meal times around here. And by lame I mean, a whole lotta microwave and not much (or any) sitting at the table. In my defense, Emily has been in sort of an in-between phase as far as eating is concerned. She was not really ready to eat much of what I would fix for myself, so I just fixed kid food all the time. She has sort of turned a corner, and combined with the fact that she can now eat some things with milk as an ingredient, I think we might be making some progress.
I actually cooked dinner every night last week and we...drumroll please...ate at the table with no t.v. on. Don't get worried. This is NOT going to be an idyllic post about how sweet our family dinners are. Au contraire. I was just thinking tonight, "Why do I do this to myself?" I thought that right after Drew got up for the 105th time and Emily leaned back in her seat for the 105th time and almost fell all the way over. Emily had eaten the "pulp" out of her cucumber slices and left the rinds laying on the table. You know, right next to her plate. Drew spilled ketchup and Catalina dressing on the table and it was congealing as we sat there. Emily likes to eat with a fork, but can't really get anything on the fork, so I have to put each bite on there, hand her the fork and then she feeds herself.
Because. Being a parent is not about having a fun, quiet, simple time. It's about training little people to be their best selves and to live lives that honor the Lord. This is no small task when you consider we all enter the world pretty much as barbarians!! And maybe it's too much to have them sit at the table, and use a napkin, and clear their plates (well, Drew gets to clear Emily's plate...) and maybe when they're grown with kids they'll let their kids run around with a chicken nugget hanging out the side of their mouth because they were traumatized by all the sitting at the table. I kind of doubt it, though.
I don't want to say that I like our time at the dinner table. Because then I would be a big, fat, liar. I don't like it at all. But, deep down I know it's right. So, I press on. And thank the good Lord for my Pampered Chef scraper-it scrapes up a multitude of sins!
If you have any good, quick dinner ideas for the toddler-preschool set that is also acceptable adult fare, I'd love to hear about them. My friend Laura posted about "Make your own Salad night" and I tried it here. It was a hit! Even Emily chowed down on some salad.
It's not gourmet. It's not home-made. But it's healthy. And it's made with love. Even if it is a hasty bit of love!