Friday, September 7, 2012

Dinnertime is Dilemmatime

My kids have friends over frequently.

Most every day I hear the words, “Mom? Can I have a friend over?”  On the days where I don’t hear these words, I’m away from the house.

Anyway, I love that my kids have friends, because it means that my kids are liked, that they are well-adjusted, that they are not sociopaths – all good things I had hoped they’d be as they grew and things that I wasn’t when I was their ages.

It’s always great when my kids have friends over, because when they have friends over, they play with their friends and THEY DO NOT FIGHT WITH EACH OTHER.

The only problem with having friends over is when friends come over during dinner time and I am already several minutes an hour into the hot dogs and fish sticks gourmet meal that I am preparing lovingly for my family and my kids say, “Can my friend stay for dinner?”

Because I don’t often make enough food for leftovers, let alone a whole other person.

I am not selfish with food, and I enjoy feeding other people’s children.  But for the most part I don’t make enough for extra.  Because as everyone who is familiar with the pigs and hogs rule knows, the more food you make, the more you eat.

And none of us need to be eating another serving of whatever I’m serving up for supper. 

If it’s sitting on the table, eventually someone will say, “Well, let’s just finish that up,” or “I might as well have some more,” or, “I’m not really hungry but it’s right there.”  Fast forward and we’ve eaten our savings account and we all need cranes to lift us out of bed.

I used to make enough food for Jon & Kate and their eight rugrats, plus the Duggars and their ninety-seven kids.  We’d eat some and then put the rest in the fridge, and eat it until it was gone or it grew legs and walked off.  But after food got so freaking expensive that mac and cheese became a luxury, and my husband and I realized that we felt horrible from eating large volumes of food, I pared the food prep – and resulting intake – down some.

Now I only make enough for us, so when a friend is calling, I don’t have enough.

The first solution I came up with was that the sibling with the friend and the friend decide which one of them gets a peanut butter and jelly, or a turkey sandwich, or a Hot Pocket or something more appealing than fish and green beans.  Usually those kids are so jazzed about not eating fish and green beans that it’s not a problem.

It became a fight to the death about how the sibling or friend gets the good meal and we have to eat the gross one.  A fight that we deal with during dinner when all I want to do is eat my dinner in peace OMG CAN WE HAVE PEACE AT THE TABLE FOR ONCE?!?!?

Then I thought I’d keep enough of whatever is healthful on hand so if someone has to give up their meal for the friend, at least there is something else healthy to eat that no one will fight over.  I started to make a huge salad in a big ass bowl that holds about 150 cups of anything you have 150 cups of. 

Until my husband started to eat salad for lunch from the big ass bowl, and since that’s what I eat for lunch every day, and we have it for dinner most nights, we never have enough salad.  Evidently the pigs and hogs rule applies for salad, too.

So I’m not sure what to do about the dinner dilemma.  I guess the obvious solution would be to refuse friends for dinnertime, but is it really worth my kids becoming sociopaths and outcasts?

Maybe we should just eat Hot Pockets for dinner every night.  There always seems to be enough Hot Pockets.



  1. Funny enough post...but when I got to the family pic at the end, I about fell off my chair. Very nice. :) Oh, and where can I get one of those 150-cup bowls? Everybody should have one of those for, you know, whatever. Swimming.

    1. Tupperware. The one that has the handle on the lid so you can hang it up on the wall, 'cause ain't NOBODY got enough room in her kitchen cupboards for one of those suckers. On another note, it also doubles as conversation/art piece.