Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Tutu Talk: Dinner

Heidi has decided that the topic this week at The Tutu Boutique will be Dinner. Apparently she has some strong feelings on this topic. Here is my take:

I grew up in a house where dinner was on the table every night at 6:00 pm, if you were not there you needed a very good excuse. We held hands, said grace, and got down. We spoke about our day, listened to mom and dad talk about their day, worked out schedules for the following day and so on. It was the board meeting of our family life.

The craziest memories I have of dinner are the Great Vegetable Wars of 1977 thru 1980. My brother Fred decided he would not eat things that were green. Mom and Dad played the "sit till you have a bite" card just about every night for 3 years. It was both horrible and brilliant. Fred would sit, tears in his eyes, protesting the injustice of it all. He would eventually break down and swallow the pea or green bean and then make himself throw up. My sister and I would beg for him to be pardonned and every night the clash would begin again. Each of us would ask to be excused, when it got to Fred they would ask him to have a bite of his vegetables and he would refuse. A battle of wills, eventually it worked itself out. I was seven so there may be discepencies between the actual events and my memories, but it was something.

I found out when I got to high school that there was an acronym for families that all sat down for supper (T.F.S.) total family supper. I also found out that it was fairly uncommon. This surprised me, I thought every family sat down for supper.

I don't know how it went after I left for college, but I am fairly sure that if there were people in the house Marybeth (mom) would have dinner ready.

Married life begins, we both work fulltime and we eat on the fly. Out to dinner, microwave, sometimes we would even cook together. No structure. When Heidi became pregnant with Meredith , she left her job and I started to get ideas. One of those ideas was that Heidi should put something, anything, together for dinner each night. I don't think Heidi entertained the same notions.

I would get home from work and ask "Whats for supper?" Heidi would answer that she had no idea and we would take it from there.

Now, the kids are big enough for us all to sit down and eat together. Because the kids need to be fed as well, Heidi does not resent putting together a meal as much as she did when it was just me.

Family getting together each night to discuss the day that is done and to lay the ground work for the day to follow is very important. I hope that when children's schedules become more complex we will be able to maintain T.F.S. at our house.

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Blogger Katy said...

aaaw, how nice. I'm the youngest by about a billion years so our TFS consisted of everbody else talking and me trying desperately to get a word in edgewise. I was inconsequential. Not so any more, cuz I'm the amazon of the family and I make myself heard dammit! Hehe.

Thanks for your kind words on my blog. Don't feel sad because I'm sad. I'm really not. Just moody, as is a woman's right.

I'll be back.

1:17 PM EST  
Anonymous Alissa said...

TFS is a theoretical great idea. I feel badly for your wife. And hey, Kraft Mac & Cheese is delish.

11:07 PM EST  
Blogger emlouisa said...

I'm liking the TFS idea. I think it is very very important to do that and we are trying to do it in our family.

But I'm also liking the idea of taking turns making dinner if she doesn't wanna do it. If you don't like that because you want to eat right when you get home, how 'bout breaking out the crockpot before you go to work? Sounds like a plan to me!

3:55 PM EST  
Blogger Jeanne said...

My current favorite dinner is tomato soup. We never manage to have breakfast as a family, because we all get up at different times -- husband's at work for lunch and these days my daughters are on different preschool/kindergarten schedules, so lunch is usually pretty haphazard. I do like the sitting-down-for-dinner-together, but yeah, some days I really DON'T want to cook "properly".

I surfed by through your wife's blog and the Cirque des Mamans ring --

8:56 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater Had a Wife and Could Not Keep Her,

As the sole financial provider of the family I completely agree with you. You are fortunate enough to be able to afford to have one parent stay at home. The parent who stays at home has the job of managing the household. So it is that person's responsibility to manage. That means creating the family environment for dinner. Managing also means delegation though. If you are able to get out of work earlier say an hour before dinner time then it is up to Heidi, as household manager, to delegate the dinner responsibility to you. She should have the meal planned for you to prepare so you can start as soon as you come home. The days you come home later she can plan for herself to make the meal. And save the panacea of ordering out for those out of control days( limit that amount to once a week). If you have chosen to stay at home with the kids then you have the responsibility of managing the home. It is a tough job no doubt but it is still a job. At a job you have lots of responsibilities not just one. If you are going to manage then manage, get organized and start delegating and planning. Family dinner time is too important.
By the way the website
is really great for kid gifts.

3:40 PM EST  
Blogger Kailani said...

I feel that is such an important part of family life. If you don't make the time to sit down and talk about your day, things fall through the cracks. I do understand Heidi's side, too. Cooking a home cooked meal every night can be exhausting. I know because my husband DOES NOT cook!

5:44 PM EDT  

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