Tuesday, May 18, 2010

You Just Made The List

Dinner time can get out of control over here. I know the experts say it's good to have family time at the dinner table, but the experts don't have to listen to the complaining, the whining and the chewing. The experts don't have to eat their own food while the rest of the table wiggles and bounces up and down on knees and butts. The whole table pitches and heaves, inducing seasickness in any stationary adult. The experts don't have to buy the food, and cook the meal, only hear the children complain about their dinner.

And then there's the time. I like nothing better than a long, leisurely dinner over appetizers, salads, main courses, dessert, wine, coffee, Sambuca ... but this is different. This is dinner spent with kids complaining about what they have to eat, how much they have to eat, instead of actually eating. And that takes time. All that chatter takes up an enormous amount of the evening.

Part of the chatter, ironically, is about what they can eat. Can I have dessert? What's for dessert? How much of this do I have to eat to get that?

So last night I implemented The List. To find your way onto The List of Those Who Will Have Dessert is simple. All you have to do is eat your dinner. All of your dinner. The only possible catch is, you have to eat your dinner within a reasonable amount of time. That's all.

Last night, the first night of The List, the only one's left off of it were C, which surprised me, and Mr. Baby, which didn't - he never eats. JP and Miss M made it on The List over my protestations. Neither finished their meal, but were exempted by The Commissioners, Kristy and SAM. The integrity of The List was weakened on night one. I did put asterisks by their names so they will have a difficult time getting in the Dessert Hall of Fame.

We'll see how things go tonight. Whether or not The List has struck fear in the hearts and stomachs of all of these children. I can only imagine that they are spending all of today wondering what's for dinner and might they be able to choke it down within 60 minutes.

Or whether or not they can break down The Commissioners' resolve again with sweet talk ... and talk ... and talk ... and talk ...