The Kitchen Is Closed

Meals are important to me.

I cannot stress that first sentence enough so let me repeat myself.

Meals are important to me.

Elijah and I have always spent a lot of time (and money) on eating. We try new restaurants, grill out, find new recipes for both special occasions and every day meals, or just pick up take-out. We love food. Eating a good meal together is more than just physically satisfying. In fact, it’s been a running theme of our relationship. For the past twelve years we’ve been sharing wonderful meals together. And our best dates always include great food and conversation whether alone or with friends.

We have always eaten dinner together nightly. We’ll open a bottle of wine, spend the evening in the kitchen then clean up together. After a long day, it’s comforting to sit down at the table and break bread with the one you love.

Then we had kids.

At first, with Asher, we’d feed him and put him to bed before we had dinner together. We’ve always put the kids to bed pretty early so it wasn’t a big deal to eat an hour or so after that. Now however, we’re wanting to have family dinners. We want our kids to join in the experience; discuss the good and bad parts of our days, plan for the future, learn more about each other. The problem, however, is…the food.

They hate everything I make. Amelia’s only two so she sort of gets a pass to run around the table half naked refusing or begging for bites from our plates. But Asher, Oh-Em-Ge, he is going to be the undoing of my sanity.

Every week, when I make the grocery list, I ask everyone what they’d like for dinner. Asher gets a say, just like everyone else. Unfortunately, on the day that I make whatever he’s chosen, he may just decide that he doesn’t want, or even like, the meal. One day his favorite meal is ribs and the next day he doesn’t want anything to do with it.

The point is, it’s making me crazy. And the arguments had gotten so bad that I’ve now started a cooking boycott. I’m not cooking for the family anymore. I’m tired of the stress the complaining, the whining, the screaming, the crying. Elijah thinks that I should just “not care” but that’s not really something that I can do. I HATE to cook. So when I spend all this time in the kitchen, only to hear people bitch about it, it pisses me off.

There is no way to sugar coat it. I’m mad that my children have ruined the best part of my day. I’ve had extensive conversations with both Asher and Elijah and have reached the conclusion that they need to figure out something that works. Until then, the kitchen is closed. I’m not so much as heating up a pizza for any one*.

*Of course, I’m still feeding Amelia but since she will only eat oatmeal, cereal and milk, it’s not that big of a deal.

8 Responses to The Kitchen Is Closed
  1. Adrienne Scanlon
    May 27, 2011 | 7:06 pm

    Oh My! First of all, I'd have never guessed from the first part of this that you HATED to cook. You paint such an great picture of the connection with your husband. But I can relate to not loving the kitchen! This mom of two grown kids (24 and 21) is gonna be keeping her fingers crossed that you (or your guys) find a reason to make it to the table ~ cause that settled down time over a meal (whatever form it takes) is absolutely worth fighting for. Wouldn't trade those years of dinners for anything! I'm sorry it's been so wearying….my solution to the food thing (my 2nd was my picky eater) was to fix dinner, and make him sit with us whether he ate or not. The rest of the day he had choices (cereal, kind of sandwich, snack etc.) But I fixed one dinner, and we all sat. Didn't force the eating, just nurtured the connection.  Good Luck! (and love the post!)  

  2. Adrienne Scanlon
    May 27, 2011 | 7:06 pm

    Oh My! First of all, I'd have never guessed from the first part of this that you HATED to cook. You paint such an great picture of the connection with your husband. But I can relate to not loving the kitchen! This mom of two grown kids (24 and 21) is gonna be keeping her fingers crossed that you (or your guys) find a reason to make it to the table ~ cause that settled down time over a meal (whatever form it takes) is absolutely worth fighting for. Wouldn't trade those years of dinners for anything! I'm sorry it's been so wearying….my solution to the food thing (my 2nd was my picky eater) was to fix dinner, and make him sit with us whether he ate or not. The rest of the day he had choices (cereal, kind of sandwich, snack etc.) But I fixed one dinner, and we all sat. Didn't force the eating, just nurtured the connection.  Good Luck! (and love the post!)  

  3. Miss Marina Star
    May 28, 2011 | 7:36 am

    It's really consuming the food rather than preparing it that I enjoy. Elijah is a wonderful cook and he enjoys doing it, but our schedules just don't make it possible for him to cook as often as we'd both like.

    I have always envisioned having family dinners together. I think it's a wonderful way to cap off the evening. I think it's important to connect with each other every day. The problem is that our meals were becoming nightmares. I am at a total loss at what to do and unfortunately no one else seems to think it's a big deal. I figure PB&J for a few weeks might get everyone into a negotiating mood.

  4. Miss Marina Star
    May 28, 2011 | 7:36 am

    It's really consuming the food rather than preparing it that I enjoy. Elijah is a wonderful cook and he enjoys doing it, but our schedules just don't make it possible for him to cook as often as we'd both like.

    I have always envisioned having family dinners together. I think it's a wonderful way to cap off the evening. I think it's important to connect with each other every day. The problem is that our meals were becoming nightmares. I am at a total loss at what to do and unfortunately no one else seems to think it's a big deal. I figure PB&J for a few weeks might get everyone into a negotiating mood.

  5. Julia Nishibata
    June 5, 2011 | 6:54 am

    that really sounds stressful. pb & j dinners until people come around sounds like a good strategy. you may have to just wait until your kids get a bit older. i remember hating everything about dinner until junior high…
    separate dinners for a while may be the only way to save your sanity. 

  6. Julia Nishibata
    June 5, 2011 | 6:54 am

    that really sounds stressful. pb & j dinners until people come around sounds like a good strategy. you may have to just wait until your kids get a bit older. i remember hating everything about dinner until junior high…
    separate dinners for a while may be the only way to save your sanity. 

  7. Miss Marina Star
    June 13, 2011 | 7:11 pm

    The boys have actually figured out a solution! I'll write about it as soon as I can catch up with everything else from being gone.

    Much Love – Hugs and Kisses!

  8. Miss Marina Star
    June 13, 2011 | 7:11 pm

    The boys have actually figured out a solution! I'll write about it as soon as I can catch up with everything else from being gone.

    Much Love – Hugs and Kisses!