24 May 2016

Go Home Dinnertime, You're Drunk! (And I Wish I Was Too!)

A true story of how dinnertime really shakes down for the average American family. #dinnertime #family #workingmoms #parenting

Parenting magazines, commercials, rich moms with nannies and Pinterest would have you believe that dinnertime in America looks something like this...

Or maybe something like this...

And let's not forget the tranquil, peaceful and cry-free kumbaya daddy-child bonding moment...

Yeah, RIGHT.

I've only been a mom for a few years now but I've been around the block enough to know that that's not how dinner unfolds for most families. For most of us, it's the desperate flight of the bumblebee from the moment our tired, dragging, sleep-deprived asses hit the door from a long day of work, or if you’re home with your kids, it’s balancing the afternoon grouchiness with the WTF am I cooking for dinner dilemma.

And let’s be even more honest: we’re barely able to remember our own names half the time to be forced to figure out what we're going to feed ourselves let-alone the little carrier monkey leach that's attached to our hip screaming for food.

On that note, let me give you a sneak peek into dinnertime for the REAL American family - OURS.

Michael normally gets home from work around 5:15. I usually arrive home with Maddy around 5:45. From the moment we hit the door, Maddy is doing the snack dance, begging for any morsel she can shove into her face; veggie sticks, Cheerios, string cheese...she doesn't care. Just give it to her and do it quick. Michael and I are normally able to catch up with each other and chat while we're getting dinner ready along with opening the mail and feeding the dog, who by the way, is standing in the kitchen begging for food as well.

In the midst of all this terrific fun, Maddy spots the makings of dinner on the counter and promptly begins to throw the most excellent tantrum known to man as to why she doesn’t want what’s being served. After a few rounds of negotiations, I settle for letting her have another night of the blue box because A. I just don’t give a fuck anymore, B. I’m the mother of the year and C. Some things just aren’t worth fighting about. If I’m being completely honest, most days I either feel like throwing the food in the middle of the floor and saying, “Have at it” while I pour a glass of wine and watch the fighting begin or I’m a cat’s whisker away from delegating it a “Fin for yourself” type of night.

We finally get a moment’s peace to pull everything together, coral Maddy into her chair and put dinner on the table. From there, it's usually all downhill...

For whatever reason, we usually have to endure a long series of whining and fussing over the fact that she doesn’t want to eat what she specifically just asked for, and because her father and I don’t want to eat the blue box for the fifth night in a row, we have fixed something else to eat for ourselves that she is now asking to eat. By this point, I’m seriously thinking of kicking this whole dinnertime thing old school to the late 80’s when my father used to tell us girls, “You either eat what’s being served or you don’t eat anything at all.” #clicheparent #totalparentmove

Maddy begins picking through her food as if she were an archaeologist on a dig; methodically, carefully and slowly. “Eat your dinner” her dad and I say as she glares across the table. Resigning herself to defeat, she begins to eat slowly, holding out hope that either Michael and I will change our minds or that we will offer something else…but we don’t…because we’re mean that way.
From here, it's only a matter of time before Maddy begins to play with her food and sneak bites off to the dog who’s learned to lay under the table on the kid’s side because, duh -  she makes the most mess. Have you guys ever seen a macaroni snake or a spaghetti noodle train? How about an impressive pile of black beans named “Booty Poop?” Better yet, when eating chicken noodle soup, does your child ask, “Momma, why you use pee pee for soup?” as she sloshes the light yellow chicken broth all over herself and the table? My personal favorite would have to be the instances of a mouth full of food combined with a sneeze because there’s nothing like someone else’s chewed up food being flung on you and your plate of food at warp speed. #delicious

This ladies and gentlemen is dinner time in America for a REAL family; crazy, chaotic, and DIRTY. I shit you not - there are days when I change my clothes for bed and all kinds of crap comes spilling out of my top; Cheerios, chicken noodles, pieces of cheese. I remember very clearly one night holding Maddy only to have her go rooting in my boobs to pull out a couple of pieces of carrots that fell in without my knowledge. #truestory

I know one day I’ll look back on this time and laugh. I know I will. Until then, I’ll keep pulling food out of my tits and wearing a tarp to the kitchen table like I’m at a Gallagher show because all too quickly, that slobbery, messy face won’t be at our dinner table every night anymore. One day, she will be feeding a family of her own and going through the same trials I am now so I rest easy and grin knowing that one day, karma will be my best friend.
Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup
Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup

Courtney is a published author, mom, taco enthusiast, and a Star Wars and Tennessee Volunteers fanatic. She's never met a piece of sushi she didn’t like and enjoys an amazing glass of wine and a great cut of meat. You can read more of her wine-induced, sleep-deprived adventures on The Huffington Post and Scary Mommy.

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