March 22, 2012 by Carin
What happens between the hour of 5pm and 6pm is a mystery to me. Both kids turn from well mannered and behaving kids to tantrum, food throwing little devils. That can only mean that dinner has been placed on the table. Oh joy!
Breakfast time is fun; both kids are in great moods, all their food is eaten without effort or constant nagging to eat the meal that is on the table. We laugh; talk about our day ahead and sometimes there is even a request for more food. Lunch is more subdued, but choices are made, the meal is eaten and naptime is upon us. Little nagging is needed if any and post-nap plans are put into place.
Now what the heck happens when dinner time comes close is unlike anything. Both kids turn into naughty screaming little hellions. Whining about the food placed in front of them and if you think a 10 month can’t complain, trust me, he can. He will throw his food on the floor and start crying, try another piece and the same scenario plays out until he finds something he deems worthy of placing in his mouth. The 3 year old will like what we are eating but then decide that this night she does not like whatever it is I have chosen to make, even if she did help chose what was made or help make it. The 10 month old will eat and but then finally give up in a crying mess of a heap of boy on his placemat. Cute? Yes. Frustrating? Oh hell yes.
This nightly scenario starts out differently for the three year old. She can be a great kid all day, listening, being helpful and fun. But the minute dad walks in the door, my good kid turns into the opposite of what I have reassured my husband she has been all day. She is throwing tantrums, complaining, whining, refusing to eat and “Never wants to eat dinner, EVER!”. We remind her that dinner is her last meal until breakfast, no snacks before bed and so on and so forth. We have even begun to bribe her. Take 5 bites and you can have a cookie before bed, which sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t.
To tell you the truth, this nightly play of scenes is a little comical to us. Yes, we get frustrated, but really it can be funny. Myles is throwing himself down on his placemat screaming and Grace is avoiding eating at all costs by chewing her food, suddenly shaking and then spitting it out. I just can’t believe that my two kids who easily and happily eat two meals a day suddenly get to dinner and food coming into contact with their bodies is now suddenly the worst part of their day. We do what any parents would do, we ignore the antics, try to have a conversation and enjoy the meal made. Someday dinner will get easier and they will complain less, though I am sure they will still complain about something set in front of them. Someday (probably when they leave for college) we will truly enjoy dinnertime again.
Are we the only parents who go through this dinnertime madness?