Eat Your Dinner

I am living a cliche. My whole family is. We are participating in one of those tried and true parental moments that every family has to go through. Depicted in countless movies, written about so much so that it's a more popular topic than Twilight fan fiction. And it's a right of passage for every child so that when their own children pull this shit, they can at least get the payback that they deserve.

Little Hoss is sitting at the table. She's slouching in her chair and has been there for a good 30 minutes. She won't eat her dinner. She is just looking at it like it's some sort of toxic waste that I dug up from the backyard. But if it does decide to mutate and smack her in the head, I won't be disappointed. It's a test of wills and I'm not sure if I'm winning or not. But if I lose this battle then I might as well go ahead and plan for her to be knocked up when she is 15 and her boyfriend needs to live with us because his parents kicked him out. I hate Chester and always will.

Little Hoss can be a bit of a picky eater but not that bad, compared to what I've seen. If she complains during dinner I always give her the same response. You can either eat your dinner or go to bed. It's one of the other and I don't care which one you choose. At least that is what my outside look says. I actually do care because I want her to eat her dinner. She has never chosen to go to bed. She hates going to bed. Thus she eats or at least nibbles.

Tonight she chose to go to bed. Son of a bitch. I hate it when Little Hoss calls me on my bullshit.

She was up in her room for 20 minutes. I don't know why today of all days she chose to rebel against my authority. It's been rough. I'm tired and dinner took a long time to cook. All I want to do is read a book, maybe kill some zombies and then go to bed myself. That is not happening.

Eventually she comes down thinking that everything is forgotten. But it's not. Hossmom and I can't forget this one. It's either bed or dinner so back to the chair she goes. She sits and stares, stares and sits. Hossmom portions out what she has to eat. 1 green bean, 2 mouthfuls of rice and 2 pieces of porkchop. At this point it's not how much she eats but the fact that she eats because we told her to. That was a half hour ago and still nothing.

Every kid does this. I remember doing this. One time as a kid my brother, sister and I were told to eat our peas. Disgusting little things, really. We banded together, we unionized. United we stood and declared that we would not eat our peas. My dad just looked at us. I have learned throughout my childhood that it was not a good idea to challenge my father. Usually he broke any stand off with a belt and by god I thank him for those lessons now!

So we sat there, looking at the peas, while my father retired to the living room to watch Solid Gold and thier dancers.

My brother is stubborn and does not take direction well. He refused to eat anything. My sister, who is equally as stubborn but somewhat more devious, started hiding her peas in her glass of red Koolaid. Me, I'm a good boy. I don't like trouble. I took each pea like it was a pill and shot each individual one down with a chaser of koolaid. In the end, I ate all my peas. But also in the end, I was the only one that did. Things haven't changed since then. My brother still doesn't take suggestions well and my sister is still a bit passive aggressive. Me? I'm still the good boy although now I am looking at my own daughter pulling the same shit. It occurs to me that she may be a perfect mix of my own brother and sister with nothing of me in there. Stubborn and devious, that's Vivi.

I have tried everything. I gave the "starving kids in Africa speech." I complained about how long it took me to cook dinner. I threatened her with the loss of toys and privileges. I have become my own mother. Sweet Jesus it's true. Pretty soon I'm going to start flinging dishes in the sink and screaming about sacrifice.

There is a scene in the "Christmas Story" in which Randy, Ralphie's little brother, won't eat his dinner. The dad claims that he is going to get his screwdriver and cram the food down. I respect this man because now I understand this man. Although I would never use a screwdriver, I'm not a monster. No, I would use something that would do the job better such as a crowbar and a mallet.

But in the end, I take the mother approach because deep down, I'm a big pussy. I sit next to my daughter and start to joke with her. I start doing "dinosaur" bits on her leftover food. I ask her to show me how a dinosaur eats. Pretty soon her dinner is finished. She ate her one greenbean and rice and I ate the entire rest of the plate. A couple of things dawn on me as we leave the table.

First: dinner did in fact suck. The rice was plain, the green beans were overcooked and the pork was not seasoned. Perhaps my daughter just has a more advanced pallet. Second: I need to be more stubborn and devious and hide things in the Koolaid.

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