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Dinner Log — The Reality of Eating with Kids

January 25, 2012

For anyone without kids who has ever wondered why parents hate dinnertime, and for all dads who work late and wonder why Mommy is tipsy, but still pissed and all kids are in timeout.

It’s a typical Wednesday evening at home.


Smallest child with the biggest mouth:  “Mooooommy!!!  I’m huuuuungry!!!”

Mommy:  “I’m making dinner now.  It’ll be ready in about fifteen minutes.”

Small Child/Big Mouth: <whining> “But I’m hungry NOOW, and I just can’t wait any longer for food!!”

(Did I mention she’s a bit dramatic?)

Mommy:  “You already had goldfish, a string cheese and grapes.  You will not starve in the next fifteen minutes.  No more food until dinner.”

Small Child/Big Mouth:  <higher-pitched squeaky whining>  “But that’s a LONG TIME!!”

Mommy:  “Sorry, no more food till dinner.”

Small Child/Big Mouth:  <runs off fake sobbing; throws herself facedown into couch cushions>


Middle Child/ Master Manipulator: “Mommy, I’m hungry, too.”

Mommy:  “Like I told your sister, you’ve all had enough snacks.  No more food till dinner.”

Middle Manipulator:  “But Robbie’s eating a snack.”

Mommy:  “Robbie just got home from school.  Robbie didn’t have five snacks in the car while waiting for school to let out.”

Middle Manipulator:  “We didn’t have five snacks!  We only had three!  Can I have two more?”

Mommy:  “No.  No more snacks.  Dinner is almost ready.”

Middle Manipulator:  “Can I finish my lunch?”

Mommy:  “Your lunch?  I threw that away when you didn’t finish at lunchtime.  No.  More.  Food!”

Middle Manipulator:  <whipping up instant fake tears>  “But I waaaaaanted thaaaat!!”

Mommy:  “Out.  Out of the kitchen.  NOW.”

<Manipulator storms out, rattling the light fixtures with each stomp.>


Mommy:  “Okay guys, come and eat!  Dinner’s ready!!”

<silence, no children in sight>

Mommy:  “Robbie!  Scottie!  Allie!!  Come and eat!!”

Small Child/Big Mouth:  “Awww, but I don’t waaant to eat dinner!”


Mommy:  “Everyone, food is on the table.  Come and eat now!”

Oldest Child/ The Entertainer:  <runs in at the speed of sound> “WhaaaaaaaHoooooo!!!!”

Small Child/Big Mouth:  <follows oldest brother now that it looks like fun>  “Yay, dinnertime!!”

(I think she may suffer from split personality disorder.)

Mommy:  “Scottie!!  Come to the dinner table right now!!”

Middle Manipulator:  “Can I just finish this game?”

Mommy:  “No.  You said you were hungry.  Come and eat.”


Middle Manipulator:  <slowly stomps to the table and plops himself down in his chair> “Ooohhhh.”

Mommy:  “What’s wrong?”

Manipulator:  <lips trembling, eyes welling up>  “It doesn’t look good.”

Mommy:  “You haven’t even tasted it yet.”

Manipulator:  <wrinkling nose and turning face away in revulsion>  “But I don’t like it!!”

Small Child/Big Mouth:  <touching food with fingertip>  “Is it hot?”

Mommy:  “It’s warm, but not too hot to eat.”

Small Child/Big Mouth:  “Is it cold?”

Mommy:  “No.  It’s just warm.  Taste it; you’ll like it.”

Small Child/Big Mouth:  <sticks tongue out and licks food from bowl without the aid of a utensil> “It’s too hot!!”

Mommy:  <taking giant gulp of wine> “Then blow on it.  It’ll cool down.”

Small Child/Big Mouth:  <blows on spoon; food flies everywhere from force of her breath> “I SPILLED!!!!”

(No kidding, genius.)


<Mommy gets up to grab paper towels to wipe up food splatter.>

Oldest Entertainer:  “EEw!!!  It looks like you just threw up all over the place!!  Allie barfed on her dinner!!”

Middle Manipulator:  <singing> “She barfed it!!  She barfed it!!”

Small Child/Big Mouth:  <laughing with brothers>  “I SPIT it; I didn’t fart it!!”

Oldest Entertainer:  <cracking up>  “FART IT?  We didn’t say you pooped it out your booty-butt.  We said you BARFED it!!”

Manipulator:  <shouting>  “Fart and Barf out booty-butt!!”

Entertainer:  <singing along>  “Fart and Barf out booty-butt!”

Mouth:  <joining in>  “Fart and Barf out booty-butt!!”

Mommy:  <eyes bugging out of head; face turning red>  “ENOUGH!!!!!!”

<all three quiet down, suppressing giggles>

Mommy:  <takes deep breath while wiping up food splatter from table, floor and walls>  “No more potty humor.  That’s very bad manners.  Eat your dinner.”


<Mommy sits back down, takes giant sip of wine.>

Oldest Entertainer:  “Can I have some more milk?”

Small Child/Big Mouth:  “I’m thirsty, too, but I don’t want my milk.  Can I have some juice?”

Middle Manipulator:  “Can I have some orange juice?”

Mommy:  “Everyone finish what is in your cup first, then I’ll get you all another drink.”  <takes another gulp from wine glass>

(And I’ll fill my own again just to make it through this meal without losing it.)


<Mommy returns with four newly filled cups and glasses.  Sits down to attempt first bite of now-cold dinner.>

Oldest Entertainer:  “I think I’m gonna be done before YOU, Mommy!!”

(Yeah, there’s a surprise.  Maybe if you little monsters would let me eat a bite, I might enjoy it.)

Mommy:  “Good job, kiddo.  You’re eating a really great dinner.”  <to Mouth and Manipulator>:  “C’mon, you two.  You need to eat.”

Middle Manipulator:  “Can I have a hug?”

(How about a smack upside the head instead?)

Mommy:  “A hug?!”

Middle Manipulator:  “I could eat if I can have a hug.”

Mommy:  “Take three bites first.  Then you can have your hug.”

Middle Manipulator:  <major pouting and whiny voice>  “OWWWWWW!!!”

<Manipulator makes dramatic show of choking down three bites, complete with gags between each one.  Mommy pretends not to notice as she blocks her view of him with her wine glass.>

Small Child/Big Mouth:  “I dropped my napkin.”

Mommy:  <picking up napkin>  “Here.  Now eat.”

Small Child/Big Mouth:  <using spoon as spinning top on table> “I’m full.”

Mommy:  <grinding teeth>  “You haven’t eaten a single bite yet.   You can’t be full.”

Small Child/Big Mouth:  “I dropped my spoon.”

Mommy:  <reaches down for dropped spoon; bangs head on edge of table on the way back up>  “D—, SH—-, G—-, OW!!!!

Small Child/Big Mouth:  “Are you okay, Mama?  You need me to kiss it?”

(Shut your cute little mouth, you demon child from hell.  All I want from you is to see you eat your stinkin’ dinner!!!!)

Mommy:  <sipping from wine glass to keep inner mom-ologue from spewing out>  “No, sweetie.  That’s nice, but I’m okay.  Just eat.”


Middle Manipulator:  “I ate three bites.  Can I have a hug now?”

Mommy:  <suppressing urge to squeeze him till his head pops off, gives quick hug> “There.  Now that wasn’t so bad, was it?  I bet you even like it.  Just keep eating and you’ll be done in no time.”

Oldest Entertainer:  “I’m DONE!!!  May I be excused please?”

Mommy:  “Yes, great job.  Put your dish in the dishwasher, okay?”

Oldest Entertainer:  <jumping down from table>  “Ha ha!!  I won!!  I beat EVERYONE!!  Can I get a treat?”

Mommy:  “Yes, go ahead.  Good job.  Now you both need to finish up if you want a treat, too.”

Middle Manipulator:  <still gagging over his fourth bite> “If I don’t want a treat, can I just be done now?”

Small Child/Big Mouth:  <dropping spoon into bowl with such force, more splatter goes everywhere>  “Yeah, me too.  I don’t want a treat.”

Mommy:  “Fine.  Be done.  Get down.  But no treats, no snacks, and no more food for the rest of the night if you do.”

<Two cartoon dust clouds appear where both children were sitting two seconds ago.  Mommy scarfs down the remains of her cold dinner and washes it down by emptying wine glass.>


<Dishes are cleaned and kids are in jammies.>

Middle Manipulator:  “I’m hungry.”

Mommy:  “Then go have more dinner.”

Middle Manipulator:  “Nevermind.”


Small Child/Big Mouth:  “I’m hungry.”

Mommy:  “Want some more dinner?”

Small Child/Big Mouth:  <winding up for major whining>  “NOOOOOO!!!!  I want a snaaaaack!!!”

Mommy:  “No food except for more dinner.”


<Daddy walks in door, home from work.>

Daddy:  <smiling, happy to be home>  “What’s for dinner?”

Mommy:  <head about to explode at the mention of her most-hated meal, snaps>  “It’s in the kitchen.”

All three children: <run after Daddy as he heads to the kitchen>  “Daddy, we’re hungry!!”

Daddy:  “Want a peanut butter sandwich?”


<Police take statement trying to learn why Mommy hit Daddy with a frying pan.>

4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 25, 2012 10:40 PM

    amen sister. I eat dinner after they go to bed.

  2. Tara permalink
    January 26, 2012 1:10 PM

    Pretty much sounds like dinner at our house! 🙂

  3. ashleyinnc permalink
    January 26, 2012 4:47 PM

    I, like Lisa, eat after the children are in bed. It is the only peaceful meal of my day! This was HILARIOUS Stace! I wrote a column about eating out with children last week…we must have both been on the same wavelength, huh?! 😉

  4. January 29, 2012 5:02 PM

    I can completely relate. Dinner time is the worst.

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