Crazy Meal Times

by Meri on February 22, 2013

I love reading tips on new kid friendly recipes and getting them more involved with meals. Heck, I’ve even posted my own successful tips here on this blog. Recently I was reading a blog post about meal time and I noticed in my mind it conjured up this image of delightful kids sitting at the table, trying new foods, joining in the conversation while mom and dad sit back and enjoy their meal. Quite frankly, this just makes me feel bad as a parent because it’s quite far away from what we experience so I thought perhaps it was better to represent what really happens, at least at our table.

Don’t get me wrong…I still use all the tips I’ve learned and they do all help but let’s face it, dinner time with kids under the age of 5 can be tiresome with all the toddler-boundary-testing and basic meal needs. Our typical dinner looks like this…

Food served at the table in bowls, family style.

Me: serving each child their food with them helping to spoon it out slowly and messy.

Me: cutting any items that need to be cut into small tiny pieces.

Mark: serving himself but awaiting the bread I forgot to put in the oven (he’s obsessed with hot bread at meals)

Me: serving my plate of food, excited to sit down and eat and then…

Mr: “This is too BIG!!! I can’t get it on my fork!”

Me: “Well honey, it’s pretty small already, keep trying and I’ll help you”

Mr: “I can’t get it mommy!!!”

Me: “Ok…I’ll help”

Birdie: smiling as she tries to stand on the chair

Me: “We don’t stand on chairs Birdie. If you do it again you’ll have to go to time out”

Poppie: “I need milk!”

Me: to myself (shoot I forgot the water!) “We’ll have water with our meal and milk later”

Poppie: “NOOO!!! I want milk, I want milk!”

Me: “no milk, here’s your water” pouring three cups of water

Birdie: standing up on her chair and doing a little dance

Mark: taking her to time out

Mr: deciding to sing, “LA LA LA” at the top of his lungs

Me: “Mr. use your inside voice at the table please”

Mr. “Oooookkkkkaaaaaa”

Poppie: (my picky eater) trying to get up from the table, “I’m all done”

Me: “I understand that you’re all done but I’d like you to sit down for a few minutes until your brother and sister are done”

Poppie: “no, my tummy’s full see” (as she looks down her shirt)

Me: “I’m glad your tummy’s full but I’d like you to stay seated for a few more minutes, daddy’s bread is almost done”

Poppie: “Bread! I want bread!”

Mark and Birdie back from time out

Me: taking bread out of the oven and serving it to the kids

Kids in unison: “I’m full, I’m all done”

Me: “fine, you can get down now”

Me: just beginning to eat my now cold meal

Kids: “milk! We want milk!”

Me: fork to my mouth…sigh…

I do believe that all the tips work for getting kids to engage more at meal time but I’m going to keep it real on this blog because I know when I read others I often think I must be doing something wrong and then remember many of my friends struggle with meal time too. If this meal time sounds familiar to you…cheers and enjoy your cold food! I’m sure one day we’ll be able to eat warm food again, right?


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Marcia February 22, 2013 at 7:52 pm

OMG, you know I only have two kids, but this so mimics my dinner.

I am either eating in 5 mins while Mike feeds a cranky baby, or vice versa and my meal is cold.


Meri February 22, 2013 at 7:54 pm

Hahaha! Yes…a good dose of reality is needed once in awhile. :-) Cold, quick meals!


Marilee Sherman February 23, 2013 at 4:31 pm

Wonderful, Meri, and I so identify with it. My babies were all singles, so I didn’t have the concentration of difficult moments you experience. That time will pass so quickly. We just had a beautiful gourmet meal,last evening, with our 45 year old and his wife, and our youngest, at 34, and her boyfriend. Paul had prepared such a wonderful meal, and it was pure joy to sit around the table as a family again and share the memories of their childhood. The habits you are building will stay with them for a lifetime and someday they will say “thanks”.


Meri February 24, 2013 at 12:28 am

Thanks Marilee! I’m savoring the toddler years since I only get one shot at it! I hear too often how quickly it goes! Nice to hear you are finely getting that warm meal. :-)


Rachel February 25, 2013 at 8:41 pm

That point where you got the bread? That’s when I usually get a(nother) glass of wine. Cheers!


Meri February 25, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Hahaha! Yep…that sounds about right.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: