...for a different kind of girl

silent surburban girl releasing her voice, not yet knowing what all she wants to say about her life and the things that make it spin. do you have to be 18 to be here? you'll know when i know.

Monday, December 08, 2008

'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.

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Blogger Swirl Girl said...

I can just see the pork chop laden butterfly in my minds eye. This was absolutely hysterical!

My kids are freaks of nature eaters. Whatever you give them, they eat. That's why we are all fat and happy around here!

Monday, December 08, 2008 1:15:00 AM  
Blogger Backpacking Dad said...

Great. Now I have to go listen to SOYCD.

I've listened to that song in the dark hours more times than I can remember.

The guitar lift, "bada da. da. da. WANH, wanh, wanh, wanh, danh dada da...bada da... dunh nunh, nuh" just makes me happy.

Monday, December 08, 2008 1:30:00 AM  
Blogger Meg said...

I have this overwhelming urge to listen to Floyd while eating copious amount of garlic mashed potatoes. I wonder where I hid that CD.

Your kids should meet mine. We'd have enough time to build a freakin house!

Monday, December 08, 2008 1:37:00 AM  
Blogger Therese in Heaven said...

I wish I understood why meal time is often such a battle with kids. PEOPLE LIKE FOOD. And yet tonight, little boy didn't want to eat his icecream and apple cobbler. WTF?

Your taco casserole sounds good, but after the vomit and gagging stuff, I think it might have lost some appeal. Silly boys.

Monday, December 08, 2008 1:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Girl, if you wanted to kill your kids you just have to serve them my mothers 'Mexican sausages'. Which are neither Mexican nor edible. Sausages boiled in tomato soup.

I am having a similar issue with the Damn Emos. But apparently it isn't child abuse if you have food in the house and the cupboards are not locked. Meh.

I am on my way over. Ommm nommm nomm

Monday, December 08, 2008 2:14:00 AM  
Blogger Sailor said...

We have one boy that we describe as:
"the vegetarian- that wont eat vegetables".

So, I'm with you, and we'll stage the Phantom, for sure. I can't wait to do "Past the point of no return" with you!

Monday, December 08, 2008 3:33:00 AM  
Blogger The Savage said...

We never got the starving kids in China speeches. We all like most everything our parents cooked. there were some foods that some didn't like but my parents always accommodated by cooking a little extra of non-offensive food.
If you ever do a version of Little Shop of Horrors I so want to try out for the dentist....

Monday, December 08, 2008 5:16:00 AM  
Blogger Bijoux said...

Interesting discovery this year - the kids start to appreciate your cooking once they are away at college. College daughter would kill for some garlic mashed potatoes or taco casserole just about now.

Monday, December 08, 2008 5:29:00 AM  
Blogger Divine Chaos said...

I may have to stop complaining about my daughter's eating habits after reading this. Maybe. Probably not. She takes forfrickinever to eat .. I gave up trying to eat at the table with her and just let her sit in front of the TV or computer while she's eating now. She plays with her food, pushes it around the plate, builds entire civilizations with whatever is on the plate, and eventually eats it .. an hour later. Maybe.

Monday, December 08, 2008 7:35:00 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

My oldest son and your children must be related somehow. If it's not some form of breaded chicken, forget it. There are many nights he just sits at the dinner table with us and watches us eat. I WISH I could do that. I don't get it.

Monday, December 08, 2008 7:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As aggravated as I get with my kids during mealtime, you just reminded me that things could be worse.

(Hey -- look at me! I learned something!)

Monday, December 08, 2008 7:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me know when you decide to do Sweeney Todd; we'll be over. Hell, I'll bring appetizers, since we'll have all the time in the world to eat, lounge, perform, and enjoy ourselves at the cast party later, right?

P.S. Dude, what's with the long and getting longer by the second word verification "words"? Don't you trust us yet?

Monday, December 08, 2008 8:06:00 AM  
Blogger The Stiletto Mom said...

I can't make it over for dinner but I'm wondering if you would mind me just sending my kids? I'm thinking our children would get along really well given their pickiness regarding all things food....mine should be particularly horrified at your dinner tonight...mixed ingredients induce hysteria.

Anyway, I could use a night off from the drama. Let me know what time to drop them off. Thanks!!!

Monday, December 08, 2008 8:11:00 AM  
Blogger Chasity said...

We have to "close our kitchen". My son eats just enough to make us happy so he can have dessert- and then is hungry an hour later...
"Nope, sorry, kitchen's closed. I guess you should have eaten a better dinner."

You'd think he'd learn, but the next night its lather, rinse, repeat.

Monday, December 08, 2008 8:18:00 AM  
Blogger Ali said...

not one of my three children will eat potatoes of any kind...including fries. what? what kids don't like fries???!?!? kids are weird.

Monday, December 08, 2008 8:18:00 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

I left a meme thingy for you on my site. If you would like to join in, check it out!

Monday, December 08, 2008 8:25:00 AM  
Blogger DKC said...

I will never again complain about my kids' eating habits!!

I thought I had it bad - you take the cake, m'dear. And the pudding too!

Monday, December 08, 2008 8:40:00 AM  
Blogger Desmond Jones said...

Jeez, I thought you were referencing my favorite 'The End' -

"And in the end,
The love you take
Is equal to the love you make."

Heavy duty moral philosophy, right there. . .

OMG, since I've been eating my 'special diet', Molly has tried, on a few occasions, to sneak one of the recipes into the general family meal plan. But the kids just have infallible sensors for when 'Dad's Diet Food' is being foisted upon them. And I end up getting five days' worth of leftovers. . .

We've been known to institute the policy of "That right there is the next thing you're gonna eat; bedtime snack, tomorrow's breakfast, pack it in your lunch, whatever. But you ain't eatin' nothin' until you eat that. . ."

But, you know, sometimes the magic works, and sometimes it doesn't. . .

Monday, December 08, 2008 9:22:00 AM  
Blogger Eternal Sunshine said...

My kids are bad, and I'm often cuaght asking them things like "You don't like PICKLES??? Whose chidren ARE you???"

I don't get it.

Oh - and the gagging. OH.MY.GAWSH. What is up with the gagging???

Monkey used to hide food in the bowls on the shelf that was next to his chair. Talk about gagging...

AND, last but not leat, I often ask my children "How can you
have any pudding if you don't eat yer meat?"

Monday, December 08, 2008 9:32:00 AM  
Blogger Seriously Brenda said...

Wow, your kids actually sit at the table? Nice! ;-)

I'll be back through your neck of the woods in a few weeks. I wanna see the Seasons Of Love performance!

Monday, December 08, 2008 9:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My kids do the same thing and it drives me nuts. Once I got so annoyed with their complaining at the dinner table that I calmly picked up my plate, silverware, and glass and went into the bathroom to finish my dinner in peace. It was the best damn dinner I had had in a long time.

Monday, December 08, 2008 9:43:00 AM  
Blogger Madame Queen said...

This is SO my house. I've never seen anybody chew on a green bean for as long as Bubba does, but it sounds like your kids might have him beat. And he totally does not GET the concept that if he would just swallow the freakin' thing he wouldn't have to taste it anymore.

Now Punkin on the other hand is usually licking her plate before I'm even finished. Thank GOD for one child who will eat.

Monday, December 08, 2008 9:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If my six year old doesn't' gag on dinner we must be having mac n cheese or spaghetti, because everything else I make means that I hate her and don't want her to survive. I feel you.

Monday, December 08, 2008 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger kaila said...

I gave up on table time. If it isn't pizza rolls or chicken fries, he won't eat it. Last night, after a small bowl of delicious chili and some cornbread, I asked him if he wanted more.
He said yes, but make it different food.

Monday, December 08, 2008 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

LOL...sloppy seconds. That's awesome. Luckily my boy eats about anything. I try to keep my hands away from his plate while he's eating.

Monday, December 08, 2008 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger PAPATV said...

Oh, this really brings back the memories.

First we all had to wait for dad to arrive to eat (30 minutes)

Then we had to eat 1 good thing with 2 bad things (vegetables, add 15 minutes for each veggie)

Then we had to wait for my sister to finish her veggies (1hr)

Then we had to be warned

a) it would be leftovers
b) my mom was willing to wait however long it took (seriously, mom?)
c) don't you dare give it to the dog
d) dad's tired, i don't think you want to deal with him

Monday, December 08, 2008 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

When I was a kid, you ate what you were given or you didn't eat at all. So I ate. I practiced the same philosophy with my daughter - I'm only cooking one meal, you have no choice, eat it. And she did. It wasn't until she decided to become a vegetarian that we started having problems. I'm willing to go so far, but sometimes it's impossible to feed her a balanced meal.

Monday, December 08, 2008 11:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My friend's daughter eats pickle sandwiches. If they go to McDonalds she gets a hamburger minus the meat and onions and mustard. Just pickles and ketchip. And bare noodles with a tiny bit of butter on them.

I love food. I will not turn anything down (except mayo). I'm so coming over for Taco Casserole. I'll bring wine. It'll make the Christine parts in Phantom that much more interesting. 'Cause really, I'm just a better soprano when I'm drunk.

Monday, December 08, 2008 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger Eternal Sunshine said...

Oh - and congrats on the whole blogtations thing...

Monday, December 08, 2008 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

We never played these games with my kids. Dinner began when we sat down at the table. You eat what is served. When the adults are done eating, the table is cleared. You choose not to eat, you go hungry.

My kids will eat just about anything now...

Monday, December 08, 2008 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger Aunt Becky said...

My eldest is autistic with food issues and I promise, I know how you feel. While he doesn't get a choice, dinner does take a long damn time, with lots of rolling of the eyes and sighing deeply.

Monday, December 08, 2008 2:02:00 PM  
Blogger blissfully caffeinated said...

So that's why the release of Chinese Democracy has taken so long. Thanks for clearing that up.

I have one child who eats nothing (but pasta) and one child who eats everything. It makes for some interesting meals.

Monday, December 08, 2008 2:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My son has only recently taken to eating bread. I was worried he was the postman's son for a while there.


Monday, December 08, 2008 2:43:00 PM  
Blogger Christina Lee said...

um...are you sure you weren't describing dinner at my house? Have you ever brought your people magazine to the table while you waited (it's highly entertaining to read)? What we do now is put his plate in the fridge and then bring it out later when he asks for a snack-gotcha, you little....!!!!

Monday, December 08, 2008 2:48:00 PM  
Blogger Brian o vretanos said...

Maybe you should have read War and Peace out loud. Five minutes later you'd have looked up and their plates would be licked clean and they'd be gone...

Monday, December 08, 2008 3:22:00 PM  
Blogger MsPicketToYou said...

oh my god i feel your pain. in fact i just felt it 20 minutes ago. tomorrow: cheese sticks and pickles for dinner!

Monday, December 08, 2008 6:10:00 PM  
Blogger Lollie said...

How old are your kids? Can you get them to cook with you? This worked for my sister-in-law and her children...and the diner included beets!!!

Monday, December 08, 2008 7:11:00 PM  
Blogger Lollie said...

Guh - I meant dinner!

Monday, December 08, 2008 7:16:00 PM  
Blogger Sherendipity said...

Dude. Taco and the Phantom?
Marry me.

Monday, December 08, 2008 8:11:00 PM  
Blogger CT Mom said...

What is wrong with the children we've birthed? I go through this every night. Hate it, hate it, hate it. When they ask me what's for dinner, I state whatever it is, and conclude with "don't start; I don't want to hear it." Doesn't help that the hubby can be picky, too.

Screw 'em all; I'm going out to eat tonight. They can fend for themselves.

Monday, December 08, 2008 8:31:00 PM  
Blogger kimmyk said...

i get their distaste for the pork-i'm totally on their side with that one, but no potatoes? are you kidding me with that?

this close to christmas? i'd totally hold the santa claus and name off the list scratching thing over their heads.

no potatoes?
omg. mr potato head was like my best friend. love him. love his fries. love him smothered in butter and chives and a little sour cream...love him.

Monday, December 08, 2008 11:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've given up fighting about food with my kids.

Can you believe my kids won't even eat burgers, hot dogs, mac and cheese, spaghetti...you know, kid food staples. I guess I should consider myself lucky they don't like these things.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008 12:59:00 AM  
Blogger Zip n Tizzy said...

I am so with you on this one, though you are so much more productive with your time!
We were celebrating the other day because my oldest wanted peanut butter and celery and apples for dinner. We couldn't believe he was requesting vegetable matter!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008 1:03:00 AM  
Blogger Claire said...

My kids are 12 and 14. They fix themselves food for most every meal at this point, because I am just sick and tired of the complaining. I make what I want to make for myself and my husband; if they want it, fine - if they don't, big whoop. They are both becoming pretty good cooks, so maybe there's a good side. My more domestic friends gasp when I say "Oh, I don't cook for my kids anymore." Heck, they eat, even if it is chips & salsa for breakfast...and frequently, it is.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008 2:03:00 AM  
Blogger Mary Ellen said...

My kids have had their little food issues, but nothing compared to what you have to deal with. Mine were more along the lines of not liking one or two things that EVERYBODY likes (like peanut butter and jelly or oatmeal) but I'm not complaining after I read your post and the comments. They grew up to pretty much eat anything, thank heaven!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008 6:08:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I love the Floyd theme. Seriously though, green beans to a child suggest only poison, death, harm and woeful injury.

If I can think of any songs that suggest bolting down your dinner, I'll pass em over.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008 8:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My son was in a production of Seasons of Love! It was pretty good.

I hope the taco casserole is/was awesome!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008 9:01:00 AM  
Blogger Biscuit said...

I too have a child who is convinced that any food that is not beige is homicidal.

I can only carry my half of the "It won't"/"What if it does?" conversation for so long.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008 10:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My sister is encounter that with her 5 year old, excuse me, 5 and a half year old daughter who has always been a picky eater. Her other daughter? Grabs the spoon and shoves even the most vile looking/smelling pureed stuff into her mouth and mmmmmmmms.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger Lipstick Jungle said...

If I can pick the beans out of mine, I will be there in a few hours!

This so is the picture of our dinnertimes every friggin day.

Our solution of late - Jim and I eat in the family room and the pickers and whiners eat at the kitchen table. That way I dont loose my cool while I enjoy my delish dinner.

Bad parents I know, but as you know, there is no escaping the strong desire to hang them by their toe nails everytime food is served!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008 11:43:00 AM  
Blogger MereCat said...

You mean they don't outgrow that shit???? I'm going to DIE! I've started just throwing it out after 30 minutes. If ya haven't eaten it by now, yer not going to get to. I'm such a beeyich.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008 1:37:00 PM  
Blogger Bunny said...

My children have not yet figured out bargaining, but I was a master bargainer as a kid (no one was surprised when I went to law school and graduated with honors). Everyone still recalls my 1 sq. inch rule regarding liver. I was master of the ruler on liver night and still managed to slip that square inch to the dog and/or cat.

My three-year-old is developing her scam artist skills. She eats about half her meal, then declares "I no wike it." Her dad falls for that one every time and lets her have whatever she wants. He does not get that if you say "just eat two more bites" she will forget that she "no wike it" and finish the meal, delaying the inevitable request for ice cream for at least 45 minutes.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008 3:25:00 PM  
Blogger Cameron said...

I save money by feeding my kids only once a week. It takes them that long to eat one meal.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008 4:03:00 PM  
Blogger motherbumper said...

So you are a bearded old man now? Doesn't matter, I'll keep reading.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008 4:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have this whole "one bite of each thing" rule. Usually there's at least one thing my son will scarf down but he doesn't like to try new stuff (hence the rule). Otherwise, I do the opposite of MereCat... I'll wrap up dinner in saran wrap and if he complains later about being hungry I say, "Why look, you still have some dinner left!" Cold and congealed dinner, but still.

I think that makes me a bitch, too. Bwa ha ha!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008 6:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Like "the weirdgirl" I had a one bite rule, which I sold with the fairly bogus line, "You never know when you'll find a new favorite food."

One night, to my utter amazement, my younger daughter took a bite of something (I forget what) and turned to me with astonishment. "You're right! It's my new favorite!"

My other favorite line was, "I guess you'll be really hungry for breakfast!"

Now they're 14 and 18 and frequently fend for themselves. My 18-year-old eats a spinach salad pretty much every day, and my 14-year-old snacks on raw broccoli, so something must have worked. If I knew what, exactly, I'd write a book.


Tuesday, December 09, 2008 10:55:00 PM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

What? Did you come here looking for responses to all your great comments? You've not figured me out by now?


I'll get to them in the morning. Mommy used all her words today already.

(p.s. - Let's not let the fact that I just called myself "Mommy" int this relationship we share change anything, OK...)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008 11:37:00 PM  

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