They eat what we eat
As far as I am concerned my two little girls are complete and total hellions. Tennessee Williams coined a phrase just for the two of them when he penned “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” Clearly he was looking squarely into the future and right into my home when the term “no neck monsters” popped into his mind.
Guests to our dinner table are always shocked at their behavior. But where I see Lilliputian beasts gobbling with their hands and using my shirt as a napkin, the guests inevitably exclaim, “They eat so well. What’s the secret?” The first few times I heard this I assumed that they were complimenting my cooking, but that vanity didn’t stand up to the test of common sense. No, what they really wanted to know was how my wife and I managed to get our spoiled cutie pies to eat anything but macaroni and cheese and french fries.
Mothers in particular want to know the secret to our success. The answer is simple: They eat what we eat. We love vegetables so the cunning vixens eat vegetables. They have no clue that vegetables are something that is good for them. I hate eating things that are good for me because they are good for me. I’d forsake chocolate ice cream if some authority figure demanded that I eat it because it was good for me.
It also helps that the kids eat with us. When I first moved in with my wife she insisted that we eat dinner together on a regular basis. She figured that if we took the time to break bread together at least once a day that would be good for our relationship. I liked her and I liked bread so I went along with the idea and eventually it stuck. So by the time the NNMs came along it had become a ritual.
I do love to cook, but I am also lazy, which means that I will not cook separate meals for the little people. Especially when they are the same miniature rascals who have just finished vomiting on my carpets, coloring on my couch, fighting over a wad of paper and turning my hair gray. I don’t get a choice, and they don’t either.
Not only am I lazy, but also I am a glutton for punishment. To that end I let the kids help me cook. Yes it takes twice as long and you wouldn’t believe what the kitchen floor looks like. But we laugh a lot and the dust buster does wonders with the mess. And yes the pizza is rarely round and the string beans are often broken in half instead of having the stems snapped off, but the labor is cheap and they love to eat what they just cooked. For some strange reason they take pride in it. They’re vain like their father.
So there’s our secret. We love a GreatGrub meal, so therefore our kids eat some great grub. Feeding them well may not do much for their manners, but they are learning the value of partaking in the family meal and that’s a habit worth getting stuck on.