Saturday, March 29, 2008

Late Blooming Mom Law #1: The More Time You Spend On Cooking Dinner, The Less They'll Eat

As a working mom, it's not easy to get home-cooked meals on the table every night. But I try, at least most nights.

This week I was inspired by some late-night Food Network viewing, and browsing through some cookbooks. I was all set with my Mark Bittman-inspired tray-roasted salmon with herb butter & olive oil; my Barefoot Contessa take on broccoli with garlic; my classic steamed sweet corn with butter. I managed to get it all prepped and at least some of it cooked BEFORE picking up the kids from preschool (over my sacred, prized, usually restful lunch hour, since most days, I'm lucky enough to work at home). That way, once I got the kids home, save for popping the fish in the oven, and warming up the rest, there was nothing else to do.

Except make a Plan B.

Seems Thing 1, who normally eats salmon enthusiastically (though mysteriously insists it's chicken no matter how often he's told it's fish) would be pacificied with nothing but mac n' cheese from a box, in the shape of bunnies.

Seems Thing2 refused to nap at preschool, so she fell asleep on the sofa in front of the Disney Channel's HANDY MANNY in the fifteen minutes or so it took me to cook the mac n' cheese and set the table for Thing 1.

Thing 2 wound up eating a decent amount of pasta bunnies, but eating maybe two bites of fish; zero broccoli (though he chows down on garlic broccoli at that mall when it's purchased from Sbarro), and barely gnawed on the corn, despite it being his usual favorite.

Thing 1 had to be transferred to bed, where she promptly slept for something like twelve hours, skipping dinner entirely.

The husband and I did enjoy the meal, so my efforts weren't entirely for naught.

But still: I'd made the food -- rich in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants -- to nourish my children. Mission NOT accomplished.

It's enough to make a working mom wanna order take-out every night. Or better yet, let 'em loose at Koo Koo Roo. At least then, I wouldn't have to clean up.

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