In writing about being a person who has kids, I end up delving into all about the different ways I failed to live up to my own high expectations (and how my kids have failed to live up to the high expectations I unfairly set for them before they existed, and my partner, annnnd family life in general, annnnnnd life in general), but right now, I’m here to talk about a big one: food. Because let me tell you, what I imagined cooking dinner for kids would be like is not at all what the reality is in my house. Maybe it's idealistic and wonderful and perfect in other families' houses. When I hear about people serving their children and everyone else in the family just one meal, I cry a little. OK, I cry a lot. I like to believe that's an urban dinnertime myth.
I will fully admit to being one of those moms with the highest of hopes about what type of parent I would be when I first became pregnant: Wooden toys, cloth diapers, only organic food served, no sugar ever, and so on. I was going to eliminate all sorts of variables that could potentially negatively impact my child and cause problems for her down the line.
Well, the road to hell is paved with macrobiotic intentions, as the saying goes.
There was a short period when my daughter and son ate what I fed them. We call that “The Golden Age” in our house — now, there is none of that happening. Not without bribing, cajoling, pleading, and yelling. Dinner time is fun. At least, that’s what I tell myself as I’m rocking back and forth in the corner of the kitchen, with my wine in hand. And while I'm sipping that wine to bring me back to sanity (I don't need your judgment), I often think about the differences between what my pre-baby self thought family dinnertimes would be like once I got to that stage of my life, and what they are actually like now that they're here...