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Dinner, It's What's for Dinner

I cook dinner 5-6 times per week. The other days, we order pizza or take out. I'd like that to be closer to I cook dinner 6-7 times per week, but it is what it is. Cooking dinner sometimes means throwing the frozen veggie burgers in the oven and the frozen corn in the microwave, and sometimes means cooking whatever it is entirely from scratch. I'd like to do more actual cooking than warming and calling it cooking, but I have two little kids, a couple of jobs, and four bathrooms to clean. Once again, it is what it is.

We sit down together to eat every night, unless Chris isn't getting home until after bedtime, in which case the kids and I sit down together. That usually means half an hour of ordering Mia back into her chair and bribing Owen with whatever is at hand to keep him in his high chair long enough for me to eat. And it always means me getting up at least five times to fetch further items for the children. So while a couple of is tend to do very little sitting, I still think it counts as sitting down to dinner.

How do you do dinner?

Comments (37)

It totally depends on the night.

About half the time I cook for the kids and they sit at the table (I sit with them) and later Gabe cooks for me and him and we eat together.

The other times we have a family dinner where we all eat together.

The same thing, basically. I get home and start dinner right away and by the time hubby gets home, we're sitting down to eat.

I cook about 6 times a week, if what I do can be called "cooking." Since my kids are so damn picky, it's chicken nuggets or fish sticks, a box of Mac n cheese, warm up some ham, open a can of green beans and since I want to be "healthy" I barely even season the green beans. Maybe a Shake n Bake pork chop if I'm feeling adventurous. When I "COOK" it means I include garlic toast. HA!!

It's so sad.

During the winter, I usually pick up food on my way home. During the warm weather months, I often eat salad more often than I have take out. I usually eat dinner with my dog because my husband is on a different schedule.

If I had the time, I would cook more.

Our dinner sounds almost exactly the same as your dinner. Throw in a few rounds of knock knock jokes (told by the kids) and some versus of the princess song of the day (sung by the kids) and we're all set.

About the same way you do I think. With one of us (me generally) bouncing out of my seat the whole time, maybe even having to breastfeed at the table while eating one handed.

My daughter is only home with me four nights a week. I don't eat dinner when she's gone. When she's home, I make dinner (usually chicken or pasta) and her and I sit down to eat. Except on Saturdays. Saturday her dad drops her off at 6pm and it's "girly night", so we usually order pizza and eat it curled up on the couch watching movies.

Did you transport yourself to our house? Yes, dinner together everynight, and usually it is warmed up food. We all carpool home together ( hubby and I work together) and having all the chaos hit the house at the same time can be hard. It would be much easier if we had staggered arrival times to get things prepped. Our girls are 1 1/2 and 3 1/2.

Same as you, dinner every night together. It's the tradition I'm most glad I started. Now that they are older, it's sometimes the only time throughout the day I see them.
Plus, I think it's a good sense of 'family' for all of us to take away with us. We each take turns telling a story about what the best part of our day was. It keeps us up on what others are doing and promotes thinking of the good stuff rather than whining about school or jobs.


I have discovered that's one other thing that rocks about us being vegetarian. Cooking is so much faster when you don't have meat to worry about.

We try to cook almost every night except usually Fridays. The husband I take turns - one cooks, the other cleans up. Our little one is only 10 months old and just really getting into small bits of table food. She has no teeth but isn't interested in baby food anymore. Dinner is usually spent trying to coax her into eating something, anything other than cheese and puffs.
It's not always easy to cook and sometimes it just means we have pasta and meat sauce or burgers but we do what we can.

My dinner experience sounds scarily like yours.

I grew up eating dinner as a family at the table and so its part of my parenting ritual. It is something I aim for everynight unless extracurriculars are in order. Which during baseball season really throws off our schedule! I usually cook a full meal and it burns me when I call them to the table and they do not arrive immediately! I take the time to cook, you appreciate me and the time I took by coming to the table promptly. Nowadays, everyone needs to make this effort, our kids need us more than anyone else in their lives! Dinner is a perfect event to fill that need.

All together, if I get home before seven. Otherwise in shifts: baby first (until we get a third high chair), older two right after, Bump and me after the kids go to bed.

Bump always cooks, unless something has gone horribly wrong. When something goes horribly wrong, I steam some rice, open a can of beans, and throw it all in front of the children. On Sunday I added some dried cranberries and raw sliced bell peppers to their plates.

We have an electric can opener, and Bump has trained the kids to call the noise it makes "the sound of Mama cooking."

crockpot. i LIVE for using my crockpot. i like to make big batches of food at a time in it and then freezing half of it knowing that in the near future i won't have to make dinner one night.

I cook about 5 nights, Jen takes one and we eat out the last one.

I grill, I bake, and I fry, but believe me there are nights when dinner is a frozen pizza and some fresh cut fruit. I'd rather play outside that extra 20 minutes than cook.

Like you, we're up and down the entire meal. I've eaten many times standing up in the kitchen just trying to get it in my face hole before the kids are done and try to wipe messy hands on furniture.

I usually cook for lunch and we eat something light around dinner time like fruit or yogurt. Of course this only works when both kids are home in the afternoon.

The idea of "sitting down for dinner" is important to me but after spending all day wrestling children, it takes all I have to hold my wits together at that time. In addition, The Husband doesn't come home until bedtime. Plus he only eats hotdogs and Burger King so there is no incentive there to do a family meal.

I hope to go to the family meal once the kids are older and stealing food from my plate.

my husband does all the cooking in our family. i am useless in that department. and he is actually really good, so i'm lucky. we usually sit at the counter with lola in her high chair next to us (our dining room has carpet in it, so we only eat in there when guests are over). lola usually eats about 35 calories worth, as we spend the whole time desperately try to give her anything and everything that she might possibly eat, which usually is not what we're eating. she got it from me, i'm miserably picky, too. so my husband is kind of a short order cook. i will not be surprised if he snaps someday :p

My nights sound horribly like yours. For the most part, I cook every other night and cook enough for 2 nights. I try to do casseroles and crockpot as much as possible. Once a week we go out to eat. Our dinner time is like yours- ordering my 3 year old into her seat, or out of my seat, a hundred times and trying to get my 16 month old to sit in his chair long enough. And my husband is usually finished with his plate by the time I get done fetching things for the kids and finally sit down.

Your blog is great. Thanks for the entertainment.

Well there's 7 of us (right now)....thankfully my dad and my uncle know how to behave at the table (they should...they're in their 60's), so I don't have to do too much in the "reprimand" department there. My youngest is not so young anymore (almost 8) and can handle herself pretty well...well, except for the singing. My middle guy (12) is the "master spiller", so we need to keep all fluids away from him at the table (unless you'd like to have "wet potatoes". My oldest (15)....he gets the police, paramedics and firemen to arrive at our house for dinner time.

It just depends. I do cook when Beaux is working - it can get complicated-ish, I'm trying to step away from casseroles. I make a lot of food, because he takes leftovers for his lunches for work (they can't leave for lunch). When he's off, many times he takes over the cooking, things he likes to do - red beans and rice, hamburgers now that it's grilling season again, etc. We don't sit down at the table, per se, because we are lazy sloths who eat in front of the TV. Thomas gets to sit in his high chair and usually eats earlier since Beaux gets home pretty late. He eats stuff I've already made (whole wheat pasta, Annie's bunnies, boiled eggs, turkey deli meat). I should do better about the family eating thing, but I figure that will come with age.

I cook most nights. Typical means I end up feeding the boys (2.5 and almost 5) slightly before hubby gets home - mostly because they're driving me nuts. Sometimes hubby arrives midmeal (most times, actually) sometimes he'll get home just as the boys sit to eat and we can all, mostly, eat together. Often I end up getting up to get thinks several times through dinner, so I don't start to seriously eat until the boys are done. But we all sit together and they have to wait to be excused until each other is done (if we're feeling mean we'll make them wait til *we're* done). They're young, yet, so we have years to set up positive habits and improve on the ones we have.

Growing up, we ate together every night. My mother cooked some kind of protein, veggie and starch plus a salad four-five nights a week and still does because my Dad wants/expects it. Thursdays and Sundays we ate out-same places every week. It was nice family time, but I was pretty picky so it was torturous for me since my Dad is the CEO/King/President for Life of the Clean Plate Club. I swore I wouldn't be like that. I am capable of cooking but don't enjoy it and hubby does not expect dinner and doesn't like a big meal at night. So, I feed our son (almost 2) when we get home-usually leftovers, pasta, yogurt, bagel, chicken nuggets, hot dogs, or whatever I can come up with. I eat cereal after I put him to bed. Hubby fends for himself. Not really an ideal scenario for being role models but it works for us. We eat out for most meals on the weekends.

I don't have children, so the way I do dinner is completely boring. Complete with TV and a butt-shaped indentation on my couch.

However, I will tell you how my SIL, mother to my 8 month old nephew, does dinner - VERY quickly. She's a picky eater, and before she had my nephew, she would always eat like a bird pecking at some seeds on the ground. I had dinner with her last night, and my, how things have changed. She wolfed down her slice of lasagna faster than I ever thought humanly possible. All so that by the time my nephew demanded her attention once more, her plate was practically licked clean.

We decided early on to make every meal possible a sit-down one - all together. I'm glad to hear that's rebounding as a "thing to do"!

We get all three kids (9, 6, 3) involved in all the jobs about setting the table and then clearing it at the end. My three-year-old gets *freaky* if someone gets in way doing his count-and-get-the-cutlery job [sucker]. Depending on who is asking (and where it's located), they will be required to get their own whatever-is-left-in-the-kitchen (example: if the milk jug is full, I'll get it).

It's not really good parenting, it's just that I'm a lazy ass. Don't tell them, ok?

We pretty much do what you do. Even with activities and such, we make a point of sitting down and eating together, we just move the time around. It's the way I grew up: I liked it that way then, and I like it that way now.

What I cook depends on how much time I have, and the current ages and attention spans of my kids. For the first year or two after each kid is born, we eat a lot of meals that can be heated or assembled quickly, with one hand, or doesn't get ruined if I get interrupted. At some point the kids leave me alone enough to have some fun in the kitchen (and then we play Will They Eat It Roulette.

Wow, I'm really impressed! I don't have any kids, but I still only manage to make dinner as often as you do (on a good week). On bad weeks, I cook 1-3x per week. Way to go!

If you follow my BrightKite trail, you know we do dinner at a variety of restaurants all over Denver. ;)

4 nights a week - late at night, I usually cook, eat in front of the TV. Sounds sad, but it's not, really.

2 nights a week - a nice meal (either at home or in a restaurant) with my super awesome boyfriend.

1 night a week - chez maman et papa

Tonight: No sugar part II

We pretty much eat a sit down family meal every night except thursdays, when the kids (except littlist) have dinner with their cousins at Grandma's house, and hubby and I can indulge in things they wouldn't touch with a bargepole and for which we can't be bothered to go through the 229 appearances. We also treat ourselves occasionally and eat in front of the tv if there's a special family programme or footy match or something.

I mostly cook now as I'm at home, however, Hubby often gets home 4.30ish, and sometimes cooks - especially at the mo as I'm pregnant and still very nausias. Not sure that's how you spell it, but you get the idea.

He also often cooks at the weekend.

Fridays at least is a 'shove in the oven' meal - oven baked breaded fish and potato waffles.. that's my 'night off' meal and I do do vegs with it...

Also baked potatoes - with lots of salad and hubby and the kids like masses of baked beans with theres - is a nice easy one too. Pasta - only takes 20, especially if the meat is already cooked - ham, or meat left over from the sunday roast.

I freeze a lot of fresh produce from my sister's small holding, and granddad's allotment, and leftover etc.

If I was more orgnised, less sick and had more hours in the day, I'd get back to haveing cook days and all that so I'd just have to reheat, but right now - forget it.

I don't cook enough...and I live alone so I totally have the time and could make something only I like.
But I also like cooking a lot more when I have someone to show off for ;)
So, yeah, most nights it's soup and a sandwich or something equally dull or even better, some freezer box meal :P

I cook the majority of the meals because The Man-Thing isn't home for dinner Monday-Wednesday. He has said that he needs to help out more on the weekends, but that has happened once voluntarily (and twice when I flat-out told him he was making dinner -- which, considering it was frozen pizza cooked in the oven, isn't too much of a hardship).

It's just the two of us and I try to cook from scratch through the week (I make meals that will leave enough leftovers for lunches the next day). However, I'm generally pooped by Thursday/Friday, so the "freezer stuff" gets tossed into the rotation.

My husband doesn't get home until about 30 minutes before bedtime, so during the week I feed Michael and sit w/ him and eat a snack and then eat dinner with Doug after Michael goes to bed. On weekends we eat as a family.

I know, no family dinner, I'm a terrible mother, but Michael can't wait for Doug to get home and this is what works. When he gets a little bit older or we move and Doug's commute is shorter we will eat as a family.

Our meal routine is much like yours except that after the bazillionth time I politely asked my 5 year old to stop eating with his hands I rapped him in the forehead with a pen tonight. I had a pen in my hand because he eats so slowly and distractedly (albeit with his hands) that I had finished eating and was now filling out one of the zillion forms required for school enrollment next year. Was your Mother's Day fulfilling and refreshing too?

I've often thought that if I could develop some sort of super velcro seat that keeps kids at the table with their feet in front of them then I wouldn't have to work another day in my life.

My son (3 and a half yrs old) makes EVERYTHING into a power struggle and we were having so much trouble getting him to eat anything that I was starting to worry about it (especially when he even started refusing to chow down the half o' Flintstones vitamin as well). Finally we instituted an egg timer. We set it for 12 minutes, he has to sit with us for that long. That way, we're not the "bad guys" telling him how long he has to stay but he doesn't have the power either, it's just the timer. Most of the time now he'll eat at least a little something, and when the timer goes off, 90% of the time he tells us he's not done! The other 10% he can be excused but he has to go play in his room. It was my mom's idea, so I hate that it seems to be working, but oh well! ;)

I'm about the same as you. I cook 5-6 times a week, three of those being an actual from scratch meal and the other frozen. I do try and cook from scratch more but most of the time I just can't be bothered. The only problem I have with my two and a half year old is trying to get her to eat with a knife and fork. Or even just a fork. She uses her fingers all the time even though she can use a fork. She's just lazy. We don't have any food throwing or "I'm not eating that" so I guess I have it easy.

Living in a house with 4 adults (myself, fiance and my parentals), we always have dinner at the table. It's a bit like our catch-up.
Unless one of us is absent - then we all eat in front of the tv!

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