The hammer dropped on Big Brother a few weeks ago.
And by “the hammer”, I mean, “family dinner.”
Husband and I recently decided that enough was enough with the finicky “I only eat orange mac & cheese, hot dogs and chicken nuggets” attitude. It was time for the kids to eat what we eat. When we eat.
Sure, it meant a simultaneous change in our dinner patterns (earlier dinner time, slightly altered meals) but we were all for the health benefits of cutting short (or eliminating) the cocktail hour and not going to bed on a full stomach.
We knew Little Brother wouldn’t be an issue. He always wants to be eating whatever the grown-ups are eating and regularly pleads to sit on his father’s lap for bites of our dinner hours after his is done. The kid has been ordering steak tips, ribs or chicken wings from restaurant menus for well over a year now. No problem there.
Big Brother, however? We knew he’d put up a fight.
We made the move to all eating together about two weeks ago. Twice Big Brother has willingly chosen to go straight to bed (at 6:30 pm) because he doesn’t want to even try what’s on his plate. Twice we’ve had great success where BB actually tried something new and (hallelujah!) enjoyed it! The rest of the days have been somewhere in between. Let’s just say there have been more than a few tears shed and a whole lot of dramatic gagging.
Husband and I have done a decent job of trading off the Good Cop / Bad Cop role. But Big Brother’s wise to us. He’s taken to asking me what’s for dinner very early in the morning and then spends most of the day lobbying for something he likes.
Because he knows who the menu planner is.
So, when I choose something like jambalaya? (I know. Not cool, Mom.) Big Brother knows who to blame.
And, conversely, when Dad announces that there will be no forced dinner together while we’re on vacation next week?
Let’s just say, he knows who to thank.
He may be going hungry, but the kid’s no fool.