Friday, June 12, 2009

PostHeaderIcon Cara: Eating dinner together (almost) every night

When I was a teenager I would get annoyed that I had to eat dinner home all the time. Dinner was a 5:00 and I had to be home. But as with most things, when you become the parent you find that those things aren’t so stupid anymore.

My family does try to have dinner together, almost all of us, almost every night. And sometimes it’s quite the feat. Like last night for example. Forget that we opted earlier in the day for “breakfast for dinner”. My parents are still here, and Sam had somewhere to go, and Mike had his last baseball game and TP was running late getting home that he had to go to the misty, cloudy field in his work clothes with a hooded sweatshirt thrown over it. So it was going to be a trick to get everyone at the table at once. And we did eat dinner at almost 8pm, by the time we got back home after the last game of the year trophies, cupcakes and coach gifts. And yes, Ant ate bacon, hash browns and chicken cutlet parmesan for dinner. (cleaning out the fridge as well as breakfast for dinner) and even though I had breakfast out with the girls that morning and already had breakfast for breakfast I had it again. And it was ok. Even my teens get a little offended if we can’t wait for them to eat. I guess eating together is important to them too, even if they don’t want to admit it.

And yes, tonight is Friday and I don’t cook on Friday. And usually the two teens make their own dinner plans with friends and the three that are left go out to eat or order in. But tomorrow Mike will turn seven years old. We will again, have dinner together with all four grandparents some cousins and some aunts and uncles, before another 20 come over for birthday cake that evening.

So I do think it’s important. I think it’s one thing that TP and I have done right. Even if some nights kids get to leave the TV on during dinner, Mike decides that he “can’t help” burping because he drank soda and his dad threatens to throttle him on the spot, if we need to get food on our plate fast before Ant eats it all, someone argues with their sibling to the point they are asked to leave the table, or someone says something not nice about a new recipe.

Trust me it’s not “Leave it to Beaver” dinners every night. But some nights we use the red plate and everyone has to say something nice about the person who has it. And most nights we laugh at each other’s stories or funny remarks. We feed Ariel who is waiting patiently by the table then argue over who’s turn it is to help clear. But we do it together.

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