You don’t have to like it but you have to eat it!

If you’ve read this blog at all you will know we aren’t exactly the healthiest of eaters. A well balanced meal around here is usually a glass of milk and a can of mandarin oranges with our pasta. 

For weeks I’ve been sort of dialing in the whole mom thing. Work, stress, busy days, the blues….there are plenty of excuses or explanations for why but none of them really matter. 

Today I vowed that it was time to get the train back on track. 

Sunday morning….well not exactly  morning… we did all sleep in a bit. Hey. I sleep when I can ’cause I usually can’t. I digress. 

As soon as the bigs made their way downstairs I laid it out for them. The dreaded “chore” list. Dum-da-dum. The air sucked right out of the room. The mood shifted. Faces fell. Shoulders slumped. Snarled replaced smiles. 

Good lord. 

We live in a 2 bedroom town home. You could deep clean the whole thing and still have time for dinner and a movie. And I wasn’t asking for deep cleaning. I was asking for the bare minimum basics. 

There is a movie with Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn. They are a couple. One scene there is this big fight over dishes. His side was that he was doing this dishes. Her take was that he didn’t want to do the dishes. “Of course he didn’t want to do them but he was doing them,” he argued. She was hurt, mad and upset that he was doing them but he didn’t want to to do them. At the time I found her argument absurd. Of course I also used to think “because I said so” was ridiculous also. I’ve since changed my mind on that phrase. I’ve also seen Jennifer Anistons point. Today I was irritated because they didn’t want to do the chores. 

Crazy ensued. For a long time. Somewhere along the 10 minute mark we crossed onto asinine. Me leading the way. Eventually I declared,”don’t ask to do anything and I mean anything until those chores are done”. And then I very maturely stormed out of the house and slammed the door. 

Part of my “back to basics” attitude was food. We had gotten good at everyone assembling their own meals and making do. No more. 

I want to the store(s) with a list and a plan. 

I came home with the ingredients and a goal. 

I cooked and simmered and prepped all the while ignoring the “what is that?” And “what are you making” whines. In fear they retreated to their room both to “clean” and to escape the kitchen-the room of their worst nightmares. 

Tonight I ladeled out 4 exact plates: chicken and orzo stew and mock breadsticks made out of cauliflower. To all the slightly green faced children I said,”This is dinner. We are all eating the same thing. You have a little bit of everything. I don’t care if you like it but you are going to eat it. If you eat it and you want something else you can make it. That is all.” I spoke calmly and slowly-the way you do to calm a spooked horse. I had to. They had the same look as a spooked horse. One wrong move and they were bolting.

It’s got green things in it!!

Let the dissections begin. “What is this? That is green. What is that? What’s this made of?” I ignored them all.”it’s dinner” was the only reply I gave. 

It’s been an hour. Chunka-monka are hers and toddled off for her “free time”. The 17 year old is acting like a complete idiot. The 14 year old is pretending to be a food sport but it’s mainly to piss off the 17 year old. I have finished my food and have written this blog while the stares at their plates because lord help us…the stew has tomatoes, spinach and mushrooms. Holy mother…I must be trying to kill them. The boy just gave the breadstick a sniff test and realized its….gasp…a vegetable. 

This is the same boy that swims a few miles every day. He can get up at 5:30 am and go to swimming practice, school, straight to work and not get until 11:30 only to do it all over again. But he can’t eat one bite of stew that has color to it? Once I did say,”good lord man. You are 17 years old. It’s a minuscule bite of spinach. Man up.”

On tap for the rest is the week: green bean casserole, buffalo chicken stuffed spaghetti squash and {gasp} leftovers. I’ve got it all prepped and ready to roll.  Oh yeah. Today was the ease into it night. Yep. Can’t wait to later in the week when they are going to see this meal AGAIN. Haha-after the squash and the green beans this meal just might be the lesser Of the evils. 

Truth be told…the stew was blah and the breadsticks were a little odd, texture wise. Not that I would admit that to them. I cooked almost all afternoon and that’s what I got? I wanted to ask. I didn’t. Instead I added a bit of cheese, lots of seasoning salt and  pretended it was delicious. Every time they asked about an ingredient I ate another bite and pretended to find it appetizing. 

I am intent on not “dialing it in” this week. We will see how it goes. They may wear me down by, oh Tuesday, but for now I a resolute.

I am a woman in a mission and my mission is the make sure they understand you work before you play. No more movies and trampoline parks and bed snacks unless you do what you are catches with first. That includes chores and school work. My second resolution is that I am getting some vegetables down their gullets. On the 6th lap of an 8 lap race I saw me fella pause because he was out of steam. That pause, that .25 second pause, caused him a state cut. I can’t help but feel partly to blame. A few veggies and he might have had the stamina to push through and finsih 2:12:00 instead of 2:12:25. 

We’ve all been coasting for a few weeks. I’ve been the ring leader. But no more…at least not this week. This week momma means business!


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