Now, I know we could just eat in the living room. But inevitably the tv or music is turned on, the baby cries, the children fight, or we just ignore each other. It's not the way I want dinner to happen. As I am cooking, I clean off the kitchen table, envisioning us sitting down discussing our days as we did when the kids were younger. We would ask them the best and worst parts of their days and tell them ours. I want that for Rose, to grow up with that tradition, so I cannot tell you how much it depresses and pisses me off that every night ends in a shouting match.
Coffeeguy has said he doesn't want to eat at the same time as we do, because he spends his entire meal angry that Happyboy won't eat. Sure, as if I am going to sit at the table with three kids and no help--I eat a cold dinner every night, already, thank you, Rose! Punkgirl doesn't want to eat in the kitchen because everyone is stressed out and that's "the reason I'm grumpy--I know how it ends!" Happyboy doesn't want to eat anywhere that anyone can see how much he's not eating.
This is supposed to be my happy place. This is supposed to be a pleasant gathering. I don't know why Happyboy refuses to eat his food, or why Coffeeguy gets so stressed out that Happyboy won't eat, or why Punkgirl gets so stressed out that they're stressed out, but it's fu#@ing stressing me out. I spend all night cooking, and I am determined that I am going to have my damn happy place. I am going to have conversation and pleasantries, dammit, and I don't care what I have to do to get it.
To that end, I have resorted to putting signs on the wall. That's right...signs that say this is my happy place, and you cannot shout, whine, grunt, complain etc. Feel free to complement the cook, who spent all damn night cooking while Rose watched me like a hawk, making sure I didn't fry that pepper the wrong way. This is my reward, dinner in a pleasant atmosphere, so read the signs, bitches, and man up. Put away your sour puss and smile, because Mom's in charge now.