When my friend Jane was over the other day, I saw her looking into my kitchen, grinning. "What?" I asked, thinking that perhaps the kids put up something on the fridge door that I missed. "You're funny," she answered, reading 'The answer to the question of: "What's for dinner, Mom?"' I giggled, embarrassed for a second. "Well, when you get asked a hundred times a day, you gotta come up with something..." I said.
I can be having a great day, a fantastic afternoon, but the phrase that can start rolling in the clouds is "What's for dinner?"
Unreasonable? Maybe. Am I being a baby about it? Of course.
Why does it bother me so much when someone asks me that?
Because it's not just someone, its EVERYONE. Each child, one by one, will ask; then Mr W; and if we are at my Mom's, I can hardly put my purse down without my Dad asking me... Can I not just have a second, Dad, to maybe get both feet in the door before you want to know what culinary delight awaits you? I resist the urge to hand him the phone and say "take out." (Sassy as I can be, I still hesitate to sass my parents--I know my Mom can still take me out in a heartbeat, so why push it?) Even the puppy is in on it, the moment I'm anywhere near the kitchen, rustling around, there he is like a little shadow, looking up at me expectantly like "well? what about me?" Throw in the cats and Shadow, and I feel like I should be pushing around a heated cart offering everyone hors d'oeuvres after 4 o'clock. Where's my apron? (I'd say 'French maid costume,' but this is a family show, and I only use that for dusting anyway, ;p)
I love to cook, usually, but you know how it is, when you are doing it what feels like all the time, it just kinda takes the joy right out of it? Cook, clean up kitchen. Cook, clean up kitchen. Cook--hey, when did we run out of that? Run to store, cook, clean up kitchen. Ugh.
But back to my fridge door....
Last weekend, I came up with the ingenious plan of writing up a menu after looking at of all things, the school lunch menu. I grabbed a piece of paper, markers, and sat down, giggling to myself about how clever I was...and then realized I'd actually have to plan my week. OY! It's not like I don't do that already, but to put it on paper just seemed so...final. Eh, so what, I thought.
At the top of the page, I wrote, "The answer to 'What's for dinner, Mom?' " then I wrote the days of the week, and put in our dinners. I made up silly names, too, like (ok, mock me if you must, but remember, my kids are little) 'Spaghetti Freddy', 'Yuck, I hate it'(chicken w/rice), and 'Eat it or wear it--Mommy's choice'(tacos or tostadas). I also wrote that the menu was subject to change at a moment's notice and this was entirely due to the whims of the chef.
It was colorful, and I had fun. I even drew little pictures of a pizza slice (Pizza Night) and little broccoli florets.
The kids loved it! More importantly, however, no one bugged me ALL week about what we were having. Getting dinner ready was so peaceful, I may have to keep on doing it.
Now, where did the markers go? Oh, there they are.
Right under my um, apron. ;p