I long for the day when I cook a nice meal (be it breakfast, lunch, or dinner) and every person sits down to the meal gratefully, eats it without complaint or thirty minute tantrum, and then takes his/her empty plate to the kitchen counter by the sink.
It sounds like a pipe dream, frankly.
I am inexpressibly frustrated by our mealtimes. It doesn't matter which meal, it doesn't matter what I cook (and I'm a decent cook)...at least one of the kids is bound to hate it and end up shrieking on the floor. This morning's breakfast (which all three kids would have loved three weeks ago; heck, three days ago) is still staring me in the face as I write this. I was so mad about the virtually-untouched meals that I shipped all three kids out into the backyard with their bubble containers, so that I could vent for a moment here.
I cut up fresh fruit, soft-poached eggs just the way they all like(d) it, toasted and buttered their favourite bread, and even poured them a bit of orange juice left-over from Geoff's Birthday last week (we don't normally do juice). I cut up their runny eggs all over the toast, drizzled ketchup overtop, and gave it to them with a smile. One child immediately said "no eggs, Mommy," and dropped to the floor screaming; another kid (who ate six eggs at one sitting just weeks ago) tentatively tried a bite and then wrinkled her nose and spit; and the third kid never even got around to trying a bite because he was trying in vain to swallow a fish oil pill that I told him he wouldn't be able to swallow and to please wait for the liquid version that I would get him shortly.
I sat there at the table and ate my eggs, all the while feeling resentful of the fact that I couldn't enjoy them, and knowing that the next few hours would be difficult because the kids would be hungry until snack time.
Every single meal time, I think of a friend who, a couple of years back, also got tired of how her kids treated mealtime and eventually threw out her kid's meal when he complained about it; and the complaining stopped. That's what I want to do. I sat at the table with the kids just a while ago and my fingers were itching (physically itching) to grab their plates and toss them, lock stock and barrel, into the garbage can. My blood is still boiling, just thinking about how badly I wanted to do it. I just know that I can't quite do that (yet) though, because the younger kids are dealing with both attachment and some food issues. Weeks ago, I stopped short-order cooking (which I did for the first few weeks that the younger kids came home) and for the past few days I've given Seth his uneaten lunch at snack time before he can enjoy the food he usually loves at afternoon snack (various home baked loaves; fruit; yogurt; etc). So we are making some progress.
But still, I have to confess that every time I get to prepping a meal, I am filled with dread. I may as well not be spending so much time making relatively healthy, home-cooked meals and just pop a frozen cheese pizza on the table for every meal (not that the kids would even agree on that). My long-term goal is the dream I stated above; I hope we get there some day. In the meantime, sigh, it's time to toss the rest of breakfast into the garbage and contemplate going out for dinner tonight, to a restaurant where someone else can be the short-order cook for one meal.