Lo these past 5 years we've had a nearly impossible time dining with the kids. It's a logistical matter. They go to bed at 7:30. On the evenings I pick them up, Jeremiah typically gets home around 6:30. So, usually we make them dinner and then one of us works on grown-up dinner while the other one gets the kids to bed.
I have fond memories of the family together at the dinner table and have wanted for all of us to sit down together. So this week, on a reorganizing, refocusing bender, I planned the weekly menu with this in mind. Each night I've thrown grown-up dinner together the instant I arrived home and for the most part, it's timed out well. The drawback, of course, is that this means the girls are subjected to grown-up dinner.
The memory is a delightful thing, the way it blocks the icky and enhances the warm and fuzzy. I have hardly-accessible memories of fighting with my parents over what I would or would not be eating. Mostly I recall the evenings laughing with (or at) my brothers and watching my dad spin his wedding ring on the table while my mom said "Edward, cut that out." It plays better inside my head, but you get my drift. In the here and now there is just pre-dinner weeping "I don't want to eat that! I don't like it!" and me, gritting my teeth and saying "you've never had that, you don't know if you like it!" and then the main course of pouting, shoving plates away and refusing to sample the food despite all manner of threats or promises.
Tonight was the ugliest yet, with neither girl willing to take a single bite of the pan-fried scallops and crispy leeks (for the record, they were delicious). And so, they were both sent to bed without supper. OH the wailing! There was screaming and weeping and Kate, repeatedly, pathetically saying "I'm hunnngry" while we repeatedly replied "yes, that's what happens when you don't eat any dinner." Ah, dinner with the family. I love that we're making such happy memories over here.