A delicious dinner, for those of us who bothered to eat it.

by | Oct 15, 2008 | Food, Parenting | 8 comments

Yesterday was one of those days that didn’t really make sense to me. I got nothing done and everything done. I did some school work, actually looked into our finances, showered, and even managed to make a chicken pot pie at 1:00 so it would be ready to stick into the oven when we got home (I highly recommend the King Arthur chicken pot pie – I use my own pie crust recipe though, and I skip the onions and just mix in two bags of unthawed peas and carrots). We went to the library after school, and while the pot pie was cooking I made an apple crisp using some of the apples we picked on a kindergarten class field trip last Friday (I made the Fruit Crisp from The Best Recipe).

And yet. No one wanted to help me pick up, and everyone seemed only to be able to contribute more mess. I’m fine, really, with taking out all the cookie cutters and arranging them on the kitchen floor, but for the love of Pete you have to put them back when it’s time to eat dinner. And then I served the pot pie, complete with, I’ll have you know, little snowflake-shaped pastry bits on top, and both boys announced, “I don’t like how it looks.” How could a kid not like chicken pot pie with snowflakes on top? Especially when earlier, both boys had been excitedly talking about how much they like every ingredient in chicken pot pie. I never know how to react to it all either (this isn’t the first time they’ve rejected dinner). My gut reaction is to say something along the lines of, “Tough crackers, babycakes” but I generally give them a Miss Manners lecture because of my great fear of being at my in-laws and having them whine, “I don’t like any of this!” when presented with a plate. So we ended up reading them books while I nursed Zuzu, and Eli was falling asleep, and they were both emphatically not hungry, so we just went to bed. Of course then later in the middle of in-bed book reading Henry got hungry, but I sent him down to fend for himself. Which he did.

I think one big problem is missing the window. It’s possible they need to eat dinner at 4:30. I’ll have to see if I can make that happen. Mostly at that time also I am fairly sick of being crawled all over and leaned against like it’s not children I have but instead a herd of Great Danes. And while I am really very happy with Eli’s decision to bag preschool (he went for approximately two hours before they called me and told me to come get him), he is a very intense kid, and at the end of a day with him, I most definitely need some space.

(Today’s Eli example: I told him I needed to get some work done. He went outside. Came to the door 22 seconds later, asking for help opening the door. I went to help him, he was holding a nasty mud-encrusted kickball. I told him he couldn’t bring it in. “Oh,” he said, sounding surprised. “I’ll go find a ball I can bring inside.” I went back to the computer. Twelve seconds later, Eli was back at the door, with this:

He was pretty annoyed when I told him he couldn’t bring that one in either. So he mainly needs a lot of communication, or he needs to have his body touching mine. Which are sweet but don’t give me much time in my own head.

But he was awfully cute later peeking in through the mail slot.)

Sometimes (often, really) I don’t really understand how parenting three kids at once works. I think attachment parenting is supposed to make them more independent, but when does that happen? Right now they’re all very needy.

I will say that Dave and I greatly enjoyed the chicken pot pie. And the apple crisp was the best damn apple crisp I’ve ever had, thank you very much.

And I’ll also say that when I went to the free magazine table at the library, I completely bypassed all the Good Housekeepings and Better Homes & Gardens and Family Circles and picked up the issue of Lucky.


  1. Clog

    How can you resist those big blue eyes peeking in at you?

  2. Paticus

    Could it be that perhaps two of the snowflakes looked the same, and therefore the realism of dinner was ruined ? 🙂

  3. admin

    With Henry, the snowflake thing might actually make a difference. Could be. He’s an exacting kid.

    And no, I can’t resist those big blue eyes, which is lucky for him, because I’d turn into Mean Mommy a lot faster otherwise. He’s really so very sweet, just also sometimes needs to spend the day wrapped around my ankle.

  4. Sarah

    Julie – Don’t forget to make the awesome gooey apple dessert your mother used to make!!!

  5. Clog

    What gooey apple dessert did your mother used to make?

  6. admin

    Ozark pudding!

  7. Emily

    oh man, the WINDOW! So true! and yet, on that day, it would have meant I was drinking at 4:30 – his dinner = a glass of wine for me on days like that. It’s for the ANTIOXIDENTS, OK? I think 5:00 is Wylie’s real dinnertime – exhibit A: the 3 apples in my kitchen that all bear little tracks from little incisors- 3 bites taken out of each while I prepared dinner 3 nights this week – sort of “yes you can have milk, no no I will help you pour it I see that you can do it all by yourself sort of ok now I have to stir, oh no, wylie, we are having MEATBALLS for dinner, not oatmeal, ok you can leave it in the bowl for tomorrow are you HUNGRY?”

  8. Julie

    I’m thinking 4:30 might be dinnertime around here for the kids. And we have the exact same issue with sampling of apples here. Every time I think of the Ramona story where she finds the apples stored in the basement, and takes one bite of each before she throws it aside. Beezus finds her and is appropriately horrified, but Ramona tells her that the first bite of apple is the best. And you know, she’s right.


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