'you can't escape the hours, you lose track of the days'
The following is a small sampling of the things I was able to accomplish during the time my children spent contemplating their dinner tonight, and by contemplating, I mean staring at their plates, which held what the most delicious pork chop, garlic mashed potatoes, and green beans, none of which was meant to kill them, for I've assured them for years that if my intent was to do them harm, it wouldn't be through a serving of poisoned pork or laced lasagna because, seriously, I don't want to take the risk that I'd get their plate by mistake because me? I like food. Anyway...:
- Read War and Peace, wrote an annotated critique, then thought 'Why not?' and read it again.
- Watched paint dry.
- Hatched from an egg, developed into a larvae, spun a cocoon, then emerged a beautiful butterfly. Butterflies, of course, can only drink and not eat, therefore the fact that I was full from having eaten my delicious pork chop, garlic mashed potatoes, and green beans weighed my down and prevented my desired escape from the dinnertime madness.
- Enjoyed a canoe excursion upon the Nile River (and back!).
- Wrote, recorded, and produced a new album. Be sure to ask for it in stores now! It's called Chinese Democracy.
- Gestated an elephant.
- Staged a production of Rent in the family room so I could shine through a performance of Seasons of Love.
- Settled in under a shady tree, fell asleep, and woke up 20 years later as a long-bearded old man.
- Reached part seven of Pink Floyd's Shine On You Crazy Diamond before Tool Man yelled "The end! Please, I'm begging you! The end!" and so, thinking he was making a request, I started singing the Doors' The End and was halfway through the 10-minute spectacle when he just shook his head and walked away.
After 45 minutes of picking through the pauper's rations on their plates (seriously, my youngest chewed on a quarter inch piece of green bean FOR 20 MINUTES!!!), I'd had about all I could endure, and dismissed them from the table. But not without performing a Floyd encore when I absolutely tossed out the line "If you don't eat yer meat, you can't have any pudding!" However, ha ha, joke was on them because here was no pudding, and so what if there was? They weren't going to get any after taking so damn long to eat their dinner! More for me and Tool Man! Woo hoo!
Unless the menu for the evening includes peanut butter sandwiches, pepper-jack cheese (the greatest of all the cheeses), fruit snacks (but only certain brands because OMG...), and juice boxes, this scenario plays out every night in my house. It's killing my already tenuous interest in cooking. Every night my boys, lured by the magical scents wafting through the air from the kitchen, scurry in to see what delights I'm stirring upon the stove, and every night, they moan and groan and feign illness upon getting my response. Every night, you can hear the minutes ticking away on the clock louder than that of fork tines hitting plates. Every meal is a marathon, every dinner a debate. The night before last, as my youngest again waged battle between a kernel of corn and his gag reflexes in his throaty Thunderdome, I morphed into my mother - who once put cloves in a stew and left me to sit in front of a bowl of clove-laden stew all night, which, wow, is more extreme than I've ever been with my kids, plus you know what recipe doesn't need cloves? Freakin' stew - and told him if he dare threw up what little he had already eaten, I'd get him a spoon and he'd be enjoying sloppy seconds as he scooped his grilled chicken up off the counter.
Of course, saying that made me gag, but happily, I had a 40-minute digestion lead on the boy, so I felt confidant I'd not be seeing my dinner again.
My boys are the only children I've ever met who don't like pasta, potatoes, and most breads. It's almost unfathomable that I - who has never met a baked potato I didn't like - would have children who would thumb their nose at a hash brown or perhaps an Au gratin, but oh my, do they ever. My hips were made for child bearing based almost solely on the fact that my love of carbs contributed to their sturdiness.
Tomorrow night's menu calls for a rather delicious (and, for all you weight watchers out there, lowfat!) taco casserole and already the bargaining has begun, and the debate over how many bites constitutes their meal started before I'd finished washing tonight's meal dishes. If you'd like to come over for dinner, you're more than welcome. There will be plenty of casserole to go around, and I've already warned my youngest against a replay of the corn gagging scene, so you'll be spared that spoon threat.
Also, if you're game, we can stage a version of Phantom of the Opera (on Broadway 20-plus years and counting!) while they boys pick the black beans out of their sliver of supper. If you're good, you can totally have their pudding.