It has been a little while since I have blogged. The wife has been trying to feed me topics to blog about and has also been telling me what I can and can't blog about.
My mom also has had some input. I am apparently not allowed to refer to the wife as my "old lady" anymore. My mom rarely puts her foot down about my behavior as an adult, so I will take heed to my mom's advice. From this day forward my old lady will be referred to as "the wife".
The wife told me that I can't blog about my middle child's recent barfing incident. This is an unapproved topic. I apparently have exhausted my bodily functions quota. But, I do have to throw this in... When all the barfing was done and the boy and I were assessing the damage, he points to the middle of the pile and says, "Look, I threw up a cricket." He apparently does not understand that in order for you to throw something up, you have to eat it first. As the clean up went on, he then says, "you have a few crumbs on your pants, Daddy". That was helpful. Depressing....madening....disgusting... and helpful.
Last night, on the way to church, the middle one says,
"Look, this finger is the biggest one".
Yes, son, people have shown me that before.
I'm just glad the windows are tinted in the back.
On to approved topics... The wife has instructed me to blog about dinner time. Our pastor once talked about how families need to spend time together at the dinner table every night. Studies apparently show that kids do better in school and do better in general if they spend one meal together a day. Logically, that is right on. I could never argue with that. I do think that family time is good.
For the kids.
But what about us parents? Is it really good for US? Putting us into a stressful situation where we are never appreciated unless we tell our kids to appreciate us. Is that healthy?
Here is a typical meal time at the home of Nurse Boy. Mom is finishing dinner when Nurse Boy gets home. Mom is dragging the girl back and forth on the floor from sink, to counter, to stove, since the girl is attached to one leg. One or both boys come in to say,"I'm hungry. What is for dinner?"
Mom answers "food". (That is a wonderful response that she picked up from her mom.) The wife uses it becasue she does not want to be criticized for her meal choice until she is at least done preparing it.
Nurse boy asks the obligatory, "Is there something that I can do," hoping that the answer is "NO". The answer is not "No". Nurse Boy then gets changed real quick. In an effort to help, Nurse Boy then takes the girl with him up to his room to change. Nurse Boy then prays that the girl is not scarred by seeing her dad in his underware on a daily basis. Or at least does not grow up thinking that is what a man's body is supposed to look like. The girl finds a book and brings it to daddy. Daddy starts to read it to her. Reading a children's book seems to difficult for Nurse Boy, so he makes up his own words.
The words "NOT HELPING", are broadcast from the kitchen. Nurse Boy then returns to the kitchen. Once the meal is done, the wife and I, (well, mostly the wife), prepare the kids' plates. From this point on one of two scenarios play out:
Scenario one is: the kids like the meal.
We set their plates in front of them. We then work on getting our meals. We tell the kids they have to wait for us to pray. The kids are not patient, but they usually only sneak a few bites. We sit down and pray. When the prayer is done, the kids dig in.
The wife then looks at me and says, "You got yourself silverware, and not me?" Oh, I get her some silverware.
As soon as I am seated the wife says, "You got yourself a drink and not me?" I then get the wife a drink. From the basement.
As soon as I am seated again, one of the kids wants more milk. Either the wife or I get them milk. As soon as we are seated the other kid wants more milk. As soon as we are seated again, the kids want seconds.
We then exclaim, "We have not even had firsts yet!" We get them seconds and then start to eat our cold meal.
Scenario two is: the kids don't like the meal.
This is the wife's favorite scenario.
The kids say "What is this?"
The wife says."You have had it before and you liked it then."
"What is that in it? That is chicken? I don't like chicken!"
If my kids did not like chicken, they would be dead. Our family is a strong supporter of the poultry industry. No, I do not want to know how the chickens are treated.
We then say, "You do like chicken."
The middle child then says, "I an not eating this", and has a frown bigger than the St. Louis Arch.
The oldest boy says "How many bites do I have to take?"
We respond "Just eat it, you'll like it." We finally tell the oldest he has to eat 6 bites and he has to eat all of his fruits and vegetables. The middle child says he took six bites. There is no evidence of food disappearing from his plate. We tell him, "No, you have to take six REAL bites." Through much cajolling, he finally chokes down six bites and then leaves the table.
The wife and I then eat our cold meals.
After the girl does not eat a single bite of the main course, we clean her up and remove her from the high chair. She then proceeds to find a six week old unrecognizable piece of food from under the refridgerator and eats it. (Maybe that was a cricket that the middle boy barfed.) The wife cries and I clean up the kitchen.
Through this is experience there is no noticable bonding. No strengthened family ties. Aside from the prayer, there is no spiritual growth. But, we will keep doing it every night because it is "good for the kids" I know that setting limits and rules will help with all of this, and we are tweaking the process. But right now, family meals are "good for the kids" ONLY. Yet, I still manage to get plenty to eat.
(Spell check does not appear to be working and my wife is not here to edit my punctuation, so you get to see what a bachelor's degree at Indiana University really gets you.)
4 hours ago