Monday, March 30, 2009

Family Meals, The Whine

Belgian Waffle, that delicious thing, whined about family meals. Enjoy!

The phrase is enough to make me want to put out my eyes with bamboo skewers ('Handy for DIY kebabs! Show your kids veggies can be fun!' BITE ME). Cooking for my family is like an existential torture - an exercise in futility that must be repeated day in, day out until one of us dies, probably of malnourishment. Children, I get it. You want to eat nothing but chips, ketchup and ice cream and you want to do it in front of the tv. I really wish I could just let you, believe me I do. I am sure your efficient young bodies could derive sufficient nutrition from that healthy and delicious combo and god knows, your father and I ate in front of the tv every night before you arrived. But, no. Society demands that I must feed you a variety of things, and that we must eat together. Damn you, society. Do lion cubs get a varied diet? Does papa lion quiz them on their day over the gazelle carcass? I don't think so. But apparently we must eat together, because it's "precious family time". NO IT ISN'T. It's 'give your mother a frothing screaming breakdown time' (your father is still at work. Lucky bastard.).

Delightful family, I have some brief notes for ensuring I don't rip your heads off and cook them, next time. I am a reasonable person. Just, you know, take note.

Eldest son, the way you moan theatrically every single time you see what is for dinner, precious though it is, is wearing ever so slightly thin. What were you hoping for? Lobster Thermidor? Truffle risotto? Sea urchin consommé? No, I didn't think so. If you have meal suggestions, please inform the management who will suggest you do the damn cooking yourself. Also, one day you will realise that the strangely shaped strips of metal placed in front of you are useful tools for eating food. Short of administering a small electric shock every time I tell you to use your knife and fork I am currently at a complete loss how to convey this message to you. Until that day I must watch you eat peas singly with your fingers until I can feel my brain liquefying in my head. Also, if there is something to be wiped, of COURSE your jumper is the place to wipe it. That's why we wear clothes, right? Just, you know, use your clothes not mine. It's really no so much to ask is it?

Youngest son, of course it is your right to eat so glacially slowly that we are all weeping with boredom by the time you have eaten two tiny morsels of sausage. It is. But must you then demand every two minutes that I heat your food up again because "it's cold"? The reason it is cold is that we have had time to enter a new ice age since you started your tiny plate of food. Just chew, dammit! No, don't cry. CHEW.

Both of you, trust me when I say I am not trying to poison you. I have spent enough long fruitless hours keeping you alive; the last thing I want is to kill you now when you are finally starting to show some future earning potential. I mean, I want a decent class of retirement home one day, where the staff only beat me occasionally. If there is something on your plate that you do not recognise, please do me the great service of not RETCHING on sight. The fact that a foreign body (say, a green bean) is sitting on your plate should not be enough to make you vomit or scream. Does it have legs? Googly eyes? Is it trying to rip your head off? No? Then live with it. Of course, if I am crazy enough to suggest you try it, a screaming tantrum is totally appropriate. Totally. Knock yourselves out. I am just trying to familiarise you with the foods that the normal people eat, in case one day (god forbid) you actually have to eat with civilised human beings. I would hate for you to be terrified by a head of broccoli at your friend's house.

Also, if I ask one of you a question, in the spirit of making mealtimes more sociable and pleasant, such as "what did you do today?" please do not roll your eyes witheringly as if I am the most cretinous being on the planet or shout "I DON'T KNOW!", furiously. Believe me, I didn't really want to ask; I do not care. I am Making Conversation, like Society says we should. Just, you know, play along for a while. Humour me. Apparently it's good for us no, don't ask me why. Ask society.. I am too busy drinking gin.

Finally do NOT ask me how many more bites you have to eat. Just, don't. I don't negotiate with terrorists.

Bon appetit!


country mouse said...

This. Was. Hysterical! (except for how painful it must be for you day in and day out : )

But "I don't negotiate with terrorists"--priceless!

Prepare yourself though, because when they're teenagers, they will eat EVERY SINGLE THING IN THE HOUSE, oh yes they will. With no regard at all for other people who might also live in the house and might also need nourishment from time to time.

It's only painful like this for a little while. And then they move out. And then they move back in . . .


Missy said...

Hey I have 2 of those at my house. My rule is "Eat it or Wear it!"

Manic Mommy said...

I could have written every word of this (albeit not so cleverly); the food preferences, the reaction to foreign bodies, the glacial speed of dinner. All of it!

Brilliant. I raise my glass-of-wine-with-dinner to Belgian Waffle!

Evitchka said...

Laugh a second does it again- when is your book coming out? You are absurdly brilliant and should have a wider audience. Are your terrorists Belgian? If so here is a French anti-Belgian joke.

Why fo Belgians have sctarches all over their faces on Mondays? Because Sunday is the special day when they use knives and forks.

The Spicers said...

Have you been observing our family dinners, Belgian Waffle?

popsy said...

I have decided to feed the the little darlings on the Heston Blumethal plan for a while - when things return to normal they will embrace the plain straightforward meat and veg with cries of relief.
So - Come on sweethearts, eat up the nice snail porridge and frog blacmange...

kristin said...

"It's 'give your mother a frothing screaming breakdown time' (your father is still at work. Lucky bastard.)"

And they wonder why I have a glass of wine while I'm cooking.

And eating.

And cleaning up.


Anonymous said...

another whine that reminds me that I AM NOT ALONE!!!

It's so frustrating to say the least to cook dinner and have it received with a "that is yucky" from the two year old. I only have to deal with one. I can't imagine two, they feed off of each other. Pun not intended

Keyona said...

You deserve an award for that one. Seriously.

Miss Thystle said...

Forget society. They'll be just fine eating in front of the tv. Or, you know, outside with the dog. Kids get raised by dogs all the time and they turn out just fine. Mostly.

Unknown said...

I can see this tableau playing out at the table! Realy very funny post. Erma Bomberg-esque.

Waffle said...

Thank you all darlings, I am wiping away a waffly tear. (Miss Thystle, I fear they would be way better off being raised by the dog, who doesn't shout nearly as much).

The day the dog starts crying about its dinner is the day that I chop them all up and make them into mince (hamburger). MINCE. I hate that word.

Katherine said...

That is freakin hilarious!

I don't negotiate with terrorists! LMAO

Kim said...

I loved this one--now I fear I shall be addicted to your writing! Great job... :)