When Everyone Hates Dinner

There are some evenings when Andy is trying to wind down and read for a few minutes before going to bed.  Often we’ve barely had an actual conversation since arriving home.  You know, we talk in phrases like “what needs to be done?” and “please wash so-and-so’s hands” and “the kids need drinks for dinner” and “what’s your choice – dinner clean-up or baths?” blah, blah, blah.
And I have a million “real” thoughts in my head and so he is stuck listening to this brain dump 10 minutes before turning out the lights:
Me – “It’s just so frustrating.  Because you try and try and it doesn’t really matter.”
Pause to collect thoughts, but then I keep on going…
Me – “Because, of course, I was 15 minutes late to work since I put together everything for dinner so you could put it in the crock pot when you came home for lunch.”
Me – “And I was all excited to try something new.  Especially since the BFF’s FIVE kids ate it.”
Sigh.  Andy still hasn’t said anything.  After 11 years of marriage he knows to just sit and stare.
Me – “But the kids cried the whole way home from daycare because they just wanted PB&J for dinner and were pissed when I said we were having meat.  I even tried to guilt them by saying you worked hard and made it for us.”
Me – “And I thought it smelled so yummy when I came in the house, but Stella cried even more and said it was too strong and ran up to her room gagging.”
Me – “And then Henry pleaded and screamed ‘Hold you!’ with the death grip around my legs while I shuffled around the kitchen getting the side dishes together.”
Me – “And then no one ate it.” 
Me – “And after all of that fiasco you still have to clean up the fucking kitchen from the complete mess dinner made that NO ONE ate.”
At this point, Andy tries to quietly jump in, “I liked it.  A lot.”  Good man.
Me – “And what is with Stella’s breakdowns lately?  She teared up and cried at the thought of trying the hard boiled egg that she asked for?  Are we really making her that nervous/anxious?”
It’s total mom guilt now.
Me – “Am I giving her anxiety?  I know our life is crazy and busy and always on a time schedule.  But seriously, she shouldn’t know any different, right?  It’s not like we were all calm and lazy when she was younger.  Right?” 
Slight pause for a questioning smile…really asking Andy, I’M NOT SCARRING HER FOR LIFE, RIGHT???
“Sure I’d like to have sat one-on-one and read books with her or practiced piano, but we ran out of time.”
“Sure I’d love to let them stay up later and play a game or something, but we have to get up so early.”
“So we can’t.  Our evenings are short.”
“So I snuck and ate 2 of the kids’ chocolate eggs to make myself feel better.  Well, who am I kidding…it was really 4.  Or actually 6 if we’re really counting.”
“Ok, so fuck it, it was EIGHT.”
“Ugh, this sucks.  Good night.”
Some days are like this.  And it’s no wonder that Andy was drinking at the dinner table:
I take back that question about scarring them for life and will just add a little more to the therapy fund this month…
But seriously, this Pinot Noir…YUMMY!

5 Responses to When Everyone Hates Dinner

  1. june and stella are cut from the same cloth–she complains about strong smells and does the fake gag thing too. i’m so relieved that someone else does it. and seriously-i hate dinner time. i get frustrated almost daily.

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