Dinner has been a mostly casual non-existent affair around here lately. Yesterday, which I’ve dubbed ‘the-day-I-wanted-to-run-away’, I decided to go on strike and not make anything for dinner.
After enduring a morning at the park, making lunch and baking cookies, volunteering at the preschool, and then ‘the afternoon-from-hell’ I decided my family could just go to bed hungry. We picked Jason up from work. I looked at him: ‘did you want to eat dinner tonight?’ I asked in a tone that suggested there was nothing for him at his domicile. He looked at me quizzically, ‘didn’t the kids already eat?’ ‘No.’ ‘Oh, well, I guess I’ll just eat that frozen pizza or something.’ Good answer.
So we went home and baked said pizza. The men were starving, since it was after 6.30 at this point, and helped themselves to a makeshift appetizer of chips, and salsa mixed with sour cream.
While sitting on the (flour, powdered sugar and crushed strawberry covered floor).
When the pizza was finally ready, G and I walked in the kitchen to retrieve it from the oven. ‘It smells awful’ he remarked. Honest, like his mother. And it did…smell awful. Apparently there was some kind of gorgonzola cheese on said pizza which made for a rather smelly kitchen. And rumbling tummies at bedtime.
So today I knew I had to step up and produce a dinner-esque meal.
Perhaps the boys were scared by the number of times I spoke to them through clenched teeth yesterday. Because they behaved considerably better today. We had a friend and her little girl over for coffee. And they couldn’t have been kinder. Of course, this only reinforced my suspicion that, if I had a girl, things would be a little more balanced chez Johnson.
When they’d left, Mr. G stood at the bottom of the stairs. ‘Did you say I was kind to Cindy (his mispronounced version of her actual name)’. I hadn’t, but was going to commend him for his excellent behavior. ‘Yes, you did a really good job today.’ I praised him enthusiastically.
‘So, can I get some allowance?’
I guess good behavior isn’t its own reward anymore.
Morning coffee was followed by an afternoon park date in which no one was critically injured or woefully disobedient. So we got home and I made stirfry while the boys watched an episode of Thomas the Tank Engine and rifled through destroyed a bag of crackers.
When I summoned them to the dinner table, G was in the middle of building a house in the kitchen. He requested that we eat in the kitchen, because as far as he knows, that’s where we eat, and since he wasn’t sure ‘that the house was quite stable.’ I suppressed the urge to say: ‘whose child are you?’ Because I know the answer.
In the end he joined me and the Hen at the table. ‘This smells good!’ he announced, adding ‘you’re such a good cooker.’ As if he was thinking: if I tell her she’s good at it, maybe she’ll cook a little more often.
After dinner we went for a walk around the neighborhood..since it’s supposed to snow (again) tomorrow. On our way home we stopped to chat with a resident, whose snazzy red ‘63 Porsche was sitting in the driveway. Jason chatted with the owner, admiring the sporty vehicle. Before long, our oldest and their son climbed into the car together. Acting the best of friends despite the fact that they’d nearly beat each other to a pulp at the park two days before…over a bulldozer. And the Hen wasn’t going to be left out. He demanded to be released from the stroller and toddled over to the Porsche – content to sit in the backseat while the big boys sat in the front.