Monday, May 9, 2005

And speaking of cooking

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

17 comments:

womandriver2 said...

I did this last year for a couple of months.  I got sick of the same thing over and over again and take out.  Hubby and I were working long hours so one Saturday I sat down and made out the menu for a WHOLE month!  It made my shopping easier, my oldest knew if we were late what she could start working on and it made life so much easier... so why did I ever stop?  I wish I could remember.

Time to get that planner book out again and start...

Thanks for the reminder.

Julie

pixiedustnme said...

you crack me up chicky!

jcgeorgiapeach said...

Perfect!  I've done this too, but yours was more imaginitive.  Reckon you can draw up a list for me?  This is one of my biggest pet peeves!  ~Peachy

inafrnz247 said...

OH YES!  The dreaded question.  Makes me feel like that's all they think of me as - the family chef!  I remember my mom hating when I asked this question and my own little confusion about why...I just loved know ahead of time whether it was something I was going to like or dislike.  Now I kid the kids and say "dog food", and of course they answer me with a resounding "MOOOOM!!!!!!!!"  (We don't HAVE a dog...)

demandnlilchit said...

Oh I hate those 3 little words too! lol ALMOST as much as "My Mother's coming" (in-laws yuck!) lol I have 4 kids too, well two are older now 22 and 19 then the straglers 12 and 13 I know your pain.

tdain2003 said...

Mom, mom, mom, mom.... that's up there with What's for dinner!  I love your creativity!  Good job mom!  and Happy Mother's Day!
Tracy

ksquester said...

What's for dinner?  (Reservations!)  What's for dinner? (YOU have 2 choices, take it or leave it.)  Anyway, it was a great entry!   Anne

slyracing1 said...

Whats for dinner? - Food!...  Whats for dinner?  I don't know what are you making?
What is for dinner? - Ask Dad! -Those are my three answers! Even tho he cooks dinner [Emeril style] That questions brings storm clouds on in this house too!  Great idea!!!  Love your picture!
Hugs, Kendra

mrsmachiavellian said...

I enjoyed this one, mi vida.  The mere mention of your tacos made me hungry for them.  OY! is right.  :-)  xoxoxo from Banana.

perkysgrl said...

LOVE the idea... Just Love it!  Gives me the idea of doing that same thing... Too bad my little one is just too young to read and right now, thankfully, she doesn't ask what is for dinner.  She just eats about anything I put in front of her (yes yes yes!! pumping fists, for I don't have a picky child!!)...

Congrats on making the Top 5!! And #1 at that... Woo Hoo for you!
Hugs,
Jennifer
http://journals.aol.com/perkysgrl/APickleForYourThoughts

finnallyme said...

whats for dinner always seemed to irk me too --- go figure ----
so i started to respond with "something you eat"   that was the end of whats for dinner !

suzypwr said...

My answer was: "whatever you are making!"
xoxo

samantha0721 said...

You are just a riot!!

eternallife23 said...

I love this idea....*Louise*

gdireneoe said...

Oh WOW!  LMAO!  I love this!  I have three little ones of my own...my response (which, incidentally, incences THEM!) goes something like this...Q:--- A: Food  Q: MOMmy what KIND of food?!  A: Yummy food
or sometimes, A: Healthy food   You can imagine what follows!   LOLOL

hksm98 said...

This is what I tell my self.  "A MOTHERS WORK IS NEVER, EVER DONE!! (HAHA)
http://journals.aol.com/hksm98/vonny

jkk1430 said...

i think that is true but see my sighn says your mother dont work here clean up after yourself:)