Busy, Shmizzy: Eat Dinner Together for a Better World

Folks, it’s time for a post update. We still fearlessly, tirelessly, endlessly march on, supping together in hopes of a higher purpose. Manners are hard to come by here at the Manor. This week I see that mac-n-cheese is still perceived and approached as finger food. Opposable thumbs do not impress our small humans. The Mrs., and me, our voices continue to make no sound at all to our giggly little, pierced ears who nosh (eat a little) during this very important nutritional act of derring-do. My glass, it stays half full yes, they spilled again, but I am using the metaphor now

and this is how we eat noodles
and this is how we eat noodles, in stereo with Cousin Max, at a restaurant no less. Oy!

I’m always telling suggesting to the Mrs. about the importance of sitting down together to ess a bissel (eat a little). How we need to dine with the full mishpocheh (family). Studies by big machers (hot shots) like scholars and doctors all laud the big meal get together as the solution to practically all that plagues the planet (don’t get me started, oy vey iz mir).

Jointly sitting and supping brings benefits to the body, brain and overall ‘mini-mojo’ of our kinder (kids). A nice nosh (proper meal) together makes for little epicureans that become ‘epi-curious’ eaters who will choose more fruits and veggies, and pick less fried foods and sugary beverages. If mealtime is conquered correctly, the consuming kinder (children) are less likely to kvell (be happy) over a ‘happy meal’ that is loaded with tasty toxins, added fats, oils and who the hell knows what other unsavory ingredients. They won’t hunger for the little tchotchkes (small, unnecessary plastic toys), that promote future gluttony and materialism. They will be less likely to become obese. That alone equals a healthier lifestyle with fewer illnesses. Kaynahorah (to ward off evils — like the big C, heart disease and stroke), all this magic with one familial sit down a day?

Wait! There’s more. Those same above-mentioned mavens add that clever conversation over a nice meal boosts vocabulary for our kinder (kids), which makes for stronger, happier readers. Nu? If you can survive manage regular family mealtimes as the kinder mature, higher test scores, better grades and overall academic performance are in your future.

Add an avocado to the meal, and you win top honors in Nobel nutrition.

Well, it is obvious that no maven of any sort has observed the goings on at our little corner of the dining room here at the Manor. The Mrs. and me, we do our best to offer nightly variations of healthy, overly expensive organic suppers while trying to stick to our frugalista rice and beans every night still ways. With you, I must be honest, dinners hock mier en chinikeh (drives me bat-shit crazy). Etiquette and decorum have left the building by this witching hour!

Things usually start smoothly. The girls, they clean up a bit and set the table when we beg, plead and bribe. They help bring out our food (beans and rice). We all sit, and the Mrs. and I, we ask open-ended questions like a job interview to try to get them to respond speak with us. They sit with their knees up, spread eagle (vey iz mir), and have clearly left their listening ears in the ‘OFF’ position. They seem to have their own form of communication that is specifically designed to exclude us. They use their fingers instead of utensils even for soup. In fact, just last night, I was prompted to wax eloquent on the beauty of our opposable thumbs and how they separate us from the animal kingdom in hopes they would just pick up a g-damned fork or a spoon and eat like humans.

Little, she has a tendency to lick random and incredibly disgusting things WTF. She gets up from the table an average of  267 times per meal. She may need more water, go use the bathroom, want something better to eat, have an undeniable urge to dance, jump on the trampoline, or simply incite an enormous giggle-fest with Big. And I won’t kid you when I say it, she ‘toots like a trumpeter’ at the table. My madelah (sweet little girl)!

Big, she started with the whole knees up posture. She may use a fork for a moment or two, then she will quickly resort to her more primal instincts and pick up everything with her fingers, especially condiments. She can tell a story or two during dinner, and get up to act it out, share via interpretive dance, or become totally taken in by the mishegas (craziness) of Little. This leaves the Mrs. and me sitting table-side for what must be days, weeks, months hours, getting all cobwebby, and stiff-jointed, waiting for her to finish the feast.

And mittendrinnen (in the middle of everything), Gatsby, will jump into any temporarily vacated seat, and make a quick and successful quest for any food sitting idle.

Gatsby, on the prowl
Gatsby, on the prowl

The shvesters (sisters) behavior has the Mrs. and me chugging the Apple Cider Vinegar (an excellent indigestion remedy) nightly, straight from the bottle. It’s a mitzvah (good deed) we don’t drink enough or at all!

Lo and behold, we will endure these rituals because we have put our trust in the big macher alrightniks (good people).

Charlotte, she will weave her nightly web around us. We make this sacrifice night after night with the promise that our girls will not engage in high-risk behaviors like smoking, drugs or sex ever, ever, ever. They won’t have depressed or suicidal thoughts. They will avoid bullies at school and online. They will be self-confident and self-loving and avoid eating disorders.

They will be strong, mighty girls who can lean in. And they will have empathy and compassion, because each night, we do our best to make it through another make your own burrito bowl.

I wonder if there are any studies of what happens to us mom’s as we suffer go through this phase?

A bei gezunt (Live and be well).




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63 thoughts on “Busy, Shmizzy: Eat Dinner Together for a Better World

  1. So….we sit down and eat dinner together at least 5 nights out of 7. It is the BANE of my existence. Every single day someone has something to complain about. I am the one who makes the entire meal 90% of the time, once every couple of weeks my husband grills the meat. The 3 1/2 year old refuses to eat anything for dinner “dinner is grown-up food” he says. The 7 and 8 year olds look at everything like it is going to literally kill them to eat it. Then the older kids the 2 days of every 2 weeks they are here are a whole other story. The 14 year old shoves everything in his mouth as quickly as I can get it to him. The 12 and the 9 year old are pretty picky. They don’t see much home cooking, variety or vegetables when they aren’t here. So they look at everything like it is the first time, which sometimes it is. They are also most likely to eat around anything and everything that is good for them.
    It makes me want to cry a lot. I work 40 hours a week and still make homemade meals a lot for my family because I think it is important. So, when everyone is grumpy and complaining it makes me want to lose my mind!


  2. It is so true that family dinners can be a real challenge! I remember when my son considered coming to the table as the most abhorrent request we could ever make of him! I do believe it is worth the struggle and can say that with two older teenagers it has gotten easier but there is still that sibling rivalry that will not be denied.


  3. I’m not a parent, but I did run a daycare for 13 years and I’m betting by dinner time most parents are just praying their kid zips it and eats so that they can get them to bed already! Bonus points to you for throwing nutrition in there!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ethan was really good at sitting at the table when he was a toddler – I know. But then, can along Evelyn who would not sit at all! She was really good at first then she discovered running and messing around. Ethan thinks it is funny and joined her. I feel like pulling my hair out!! But yes, I think it is so important and we will keep on doing family meals time – however hard it is. As Kathleen said “Keep at it, you are doing a good job.” 🙂 Thank you Lisa for sharing your story with us on #FabFridayPost xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We always try to sit at the table together for dinner every day, even if (by some miracle and good weather) it’s in the garden. So important to wet together and talk. My kids are a little too small for anything meaningful just now but I hope that by setting the standard now it will be natural later on! #mg

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank heavens that’s the direction you took this post. I wanted to sob over my failings as a mother at the beginning (‘ But I do do that and he STILL WONT FECKING EAT’). Phew, glad mealtimes are not just my nightmare. At the moment I’ll trade you feeding time at the zoo for my son who enjoys requesting meals and then acting like he’s been poisoned when it is presented to him.
    *screams into a pillow*


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I once cut the grilled cheese in the wrong direction. You would have thought someone was slowly murdering all of us from the sounds that came from my little. This must be some sort of human character builder, but I have not yet figured out the gain? Oy! Ty. #fartglitter


    1. It is difficult to pull off. Thankfully our girls enjoy torturing us during mealtime and prefer to wait until I get home from work so we can all suffer together! 🙃😄 and I live every minute. #bigpinklink


  7. Ha! Great post and I’m so glad others have the issues with ‘listening ears’. Would love to all sit together and eat but it’s mainly reserved for weekends when my son usually argues about the food and wants to watch tv (bad parenting at its best). But we do always sit at the table and we do try and have a conversation even if we all are not eating…at nursery I expected chaos but turned up one day to a room of children eating peacefully and putting their dirty plates away in the bowl after scraping any food leftovers into a bin….after that I gave up any hope! #fartglitter

    Liked by 1 person

  8. We try to eat together at the table at least 5 times a week and it is probably the most stressful part of each day (expect for getting ready in the mornings but thats a whole other story!) Our toddler will make every excuse to get down from the table and is going through that annoying ‘everything is yucky’ stage and won’t even try it- bribery has become a large part of our meal times. Even though its hard its also one of my favourite times of the day. Thank you for linking to #bigpinklink

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ahaha this cracked me up! My little guy is only 8 months so at the moment he finds food a lot of fun and as long as I don’t get the timing wrong he’s pretty happy sitting in his high chair at the table. I know these days are numbered though!! If it makes you feel better I loved sitting with my family for dinner when we were younger and even into adulthood when I moved home after uni it was my favourite part of the day to sit down with my parents and brother over a meal and bottle of wine – so stick with it!! #bigpinklink & #fartglitter

    Liked by 1 person

  10. we eat dinner together most nights, if hubby’s not home I always still sit at the table with the kids. But yes what is it with them getting up 267 times per meal??? Drives me nuts oh and middle child eats so slow it’s unbelievable. I guess it’s healthier to eat slower but it can be painful to watch lol. I do find though that we (mostly) have good chats and laughs over that shared meal which is nice. Thanks for linking up lovely xx #mg

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Haha! Yes, we do this, but I’m not sure I would say eating dinner with two toddlers is a pleasant or fun experience! & if I add an avocado to any meal, it just won’t be eaten!

    Thanks so much for joining us on #FridayFrolics. Hope to see you next time!


    1. Avocado’s are loved and treasured in this house, thankfully. The wonder food! I hope your littles grow to love them, or at least throw some in the blender with frozen fruit — it makes a smoothie very creamy and delish. They will be none the wiser! (I won’t tell!) #FridayFrolics


  12. With my hubby’s schedule it’s really hard to sit down and have a family dinner every night. When he works days he doesn’t get home until almost 8 at night and by then the kids would gnaw my arm off if I didn’t feed them prior to his arrival and when he’s on nights he’s not here and often neither is my teenager for he either has football practice or his job. But I do still make dinner. Half the time of which I don’t eat because quite honestly I don’t like eating dinner. But on my hubby’s days off I do attempt to make a full on sit down meal. And even with the complaining because let’s face it, you can’t please 6 people with what you’re making. Someone is not going to like something. So we all sit at the table and eat and laugh and now if only I could get daddy to turn off the tv. The struggle is real. Thanks so much for linking up with #momsterslink and hope to see you tomorrow!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually, we had two dinners this past week, taht were actually enjoyable! We may have crossed some unseen line! Oh how I hoe so! Let’s both keep it up and see how we fare. I know we will be happy we did! #FabFridayPost xoxo


  13. I love sitting down for tea as a family, it’s the only time that we get to sit down together around the table so even though it bugs me when I get asked a million and 2 questions while eating my spag bol I wouldn’t change it and i’m grateful that we even get that time because I know a lot of families can’t #fabfridaypost

    Liked by 1 person

  14. LOL! Sounds just like dinner at our house. I think it is really really important that we sit down and eat together. But my little man always seems to have a variety to excuses to leave the table and using knives and forks what are knives and forks? I think we’d have more success with chop sticks. Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime 🎉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know, I have to say, last night at dinner, we all did well. It was once, and Ill take it! Babysteps. I will let them get up, and dance, and play with the dog, whatever. It’s the time together that matters.
      Thanks so much! #ablogginggoodtime xoxo


  15. My biggest battle is keeping the table clear enough for us to use it. We were doing really well then the teenage sister in law came to stay and brought her monster of a computer which promptly got set up on the table. We’ve not been able to claim it back since. Must make an effort…. #blogcrush

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Yes, you’re not alone! It does make me laugh though – like many parents, we encouraged our daughter to play with her food when small (good for the senses and encourages them to feed themselves, be more adventures with food etc) but as she grows, social etiquette tells us she should have manners! Funny old world… thanks so much for joining in with #HighlightsofHappy Lisa.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I always enjoy reading your posts and your spin on mealtime is perfectly on point. I laughed when you described Little leaving the table 267 times for other things, because I can sooo relate with mine. Thanks for linking up with the #FabFridayPost

    Liked by 1 person

  18. #thesatsesh tonight i went for the timer and bribe ultimate combo – no dessert if the timer goes off and you still have food on the plate…well, it worked and seemed to not make me grit my teeth. I’m not sure I’m teaching him resilience, but mine is growing.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Hehe your post sounds very familiar! We always try and eat together as a family but the manners are not great here either – 3yo rarely uses her knife and fork (preferring to dive straight in with her hands instead) and 6yo knocks her cup over 5 out of ever 7 mealtimes! Haha. But I love the chance to all be together and chat about stuff. #blogcrush

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I couldn’t agree more to the benefits of eating together as a family. It’s a testing time, but we hang on in there, because one of these days we’ll see the fruits of our labours (or get a medal, maybe?). #FabFridayPost

    Liked by 1 person

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