It ended badly. Me yelling at the kids: “You can all get stuffed”.
It didn’t start out that way. You see, I was feeling generous and instead of putting noodles in a bowl with cheese on top I thought I’d put more effort into dinner. I lovingly chopped some bacon and quartered the tomatoes and lightly sautéed. I drizzled the pasta with olive oil and seasoned it. I got the good parmesan out and dusted the al dente spaghetti with the golden cheese.
I’ve been watching Masterchef. They’ve been in my most favourite place in the whole world, behind, New York, Italy. I thought I’d liven up meal time. You see, I am a crap cook. I lack talent and patience. I got all fancy and just knew my kids would gobble it up. Well, I hoped they would. I’d used all my ingredients in the pantry. I’d passed the invention test without chopping my own thumb off or setting fire to my jus.
I was hoping for a goddamn immunity pin.
In each bowl, I tweaked the meal according to dietary requirements. Miss L didn’t want cheese. Miss E wanted only cheese and bacon and Miss H wanted everything.
I called them to dinner and waited. My presentation was shit, the food was as lukewarm as it would be if camera crews had shot it from fifteen different angles and I stood anxiously awaiting my fate.
And then it happened. They stared at their meals and picked at the pasta. Miss L said: “I hate the tomatoes.” Miss E said: “I hate the bacon.” and Miss H said: “Yuck” and threw some pasta onto the ground. Next dinner I’m going to give them a cravat and tell them to get on with it.
“Well,” I boomed. “You can all get stuffed. I’ve had enough. Eat nothing and don’t ask for anything more to eat. I mean it. I will not give you anything more to eat. Now go away.” I would’ve voted them off the island, but my life’s no friggin’ reality tv show, it’s reality.
I’m happy to report that over the course of the next two hours, the kids ate their dinner. They would do anything for yoghurt.
And frankly, it was cold sitting outside.
Tonight I’m going back to my staple culinary repertoire of burnt fish fingers, because I am sick of cooking food, pleading with the kids to eat it and then tipping it all into the bin moments later. It bores me, but it won’t stop me writing my own cookbook: “Shit To Feed Your Kids” with the accompanying cookware – a straw and a bottle of gin, to get through the daily grind.
Do your kids eat their dinner?