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As my brother sits with his hood up not acknowledging anyone, my dad is trying to tell us a corny joke while mum is fretting over something being under-cooked, over-salted or just generally unacceptable (even when the meal tastes great!) and suddenly we are all startled by the baying cries of our four-legged family members... they wait exactly twenty minutes, and if the meal goes longer than that the protest starts!!!!!
if its not a pasta fight on the floor, or noodles up someones nose then dinner must be with someones else kids, dinner in our house is called feeding time with the monsters
Dad sings songs, grandad shouts politics, granny sucks in her tummy and proclaims weight loss, brother shows us pictures of his poo from earlier in the day, sister talks baby talk to her fiance, I roll my eyes, mum runs back and forth from the kitchen and makes sure everyone's fed and the cat lets off a gas bomb and pretends it was the dog.
Beginning the think that I am a slow cooker: left to simmer for a prolonged timeframe anda useful instrument at meal times.
My husband works away every week leaves Monday morning then home Friday night so meal times for me and my 3 children is crazy!! it all starts when my older 2 kiddies fight over who is getting in the shower first, then I have to bath the baby. My eldest is getting really fussy and turns her nose up to what I've decided to throw together for dinner. While all this is happening my husband calls or face times us.
Hiding in the pantry to scare someone, thumb on the table game, last one to put the thumb down does the dishes, telling one thing we enjoyed about our day, loud, noisy, rabble rousing bunch, but always a fun meal.
I'm hungry, when's dinner ready? Is Dad home yet? No, he'll be home soon. But I'm hungry! I'm hungry too, didn't you eat a snack after school? Yeah, but I'm still hungry. Dad will be home soon, just wait a little longer............and the time is just after 4pm! Lol, and the conversation doesn't stray from the hunger subject until husband is home and then it's Is dinner on the table yet, Mum?
A wild toddler who is usually tired after the days adventures, tends to bring our pugs in as I am trying to cook, being pugs they love food so are at my feet..and the toddler usually starts pretending to be a dog and also hangs around my legs..
Here's a snapshot of my typical day. I usually prep everything while the children nap so I'm not rushed for cooking time. While I cook, the children pack their toys away and tidy up their mess from the day (WITHOUT me having to yell or nag!). Daddy comes home from work, we all eat together and chat about our day, then we give the children a bath, read them a story and tuck them in to bed, then we enjoy some precious quality time together before bed.Then the daydream ends and I'm surrounded by shrieking children (one is drawing on my legs), it's an hour from dinner and I still haven't decided what we're having. I decide spag bol with jar sauce is fine. Prepare it all one-handed while holding a child who doesn't want my attention, but doesn't want me focused on something that isn't him. Frantically try to throw their toys in their toy box and they keep getting dragged back out with alarming speed. Serve up dinner. Children don't want spag bol. Make aeroplane noises to encourage them to eat. Doesn't work. Make them bread and vegemite. Start to eat cold meal when husband comes home from work. He says "Not spag bol again?" and sighs. I see him eyeing off the bread and vegemite, and make a mental note to go shopping early tomorrow. Ask for help bathing the children but husband mumbles something about working hard all day and flakes out on the sofa. Finally manage to get children to bed but they don't want to sleep. I sure do though, so I pass out and hope they follow soon.
I don't entertain much anymore, I live alone, and usually I am the one being invited to dinner or a BBQ, when I do have the family over, I like to have everything ready because I have such a small kitchen now, and in fact everything is smaller, and so we are usually sprawled all over the dining/lounge area, reaching across each other all the time, and the noise of ongoing conversations is music to my ears. I do so miss having large family groups over now
The craziness here comes from our 4 cats who think nothing of jumping up on the table and even trying to grab food off the plate, it seems were not quick enough in giving them tidbits.
crazy /chaos every single night (actually hoping it changes soon) as my young son every night complains/whinges/whines "i dont like that mummy" or "i dont want that mummy" which then sometimes escalates to crying/yelling etc - and this goes on all dinner which makes for a really chaotic dinner whereby everyone is usually so stressed or grumpy at the end of it !!!!!
The only craziness going on here are THE TWO DOGS who have a witching hour all of their own.
The kids? Keep them busy with tasks and hungry for food and there's no chance for craziness!!!Except when the table manners descend to poo jokes...
Ha ha that is SO true! I never care what anyone's house looks like, or what dinner is served, I'm just pumped that I'm out of the house and socialising, and I'm not cooking! But if anyone comes over... then I would literally die if there was toys strewn around the place or that gross toothpaste fuzz thing that magically crops up on bathroom mirrors (like HOW does it get there? We don't spit at the mirror!!).
Chaos and craziness is the motto of our household at dinner time. Kids doing nudie runs mid-meal, dog poised at the ready to snatch any morsel of food that is within a 60cm radius of his nose, attempting dinnertime conversation over the very loud bellows of "Let it gooooooooo!". It's all happening here!
OMG My mouth is salivating looking at all that food ... it all looks so delicious.
What is dinner? We eat when we can at this household. It's usually both boys have eaten, bathed, youngest in bed and the eldest entertained for a few minutes so we can eat together. Otherwise we tag team on who eats first while the other gets one or both boys ready for bed.
Sonia I think you hit the nail on the head. When you have a large group to cater for, food that can be passed around is the way to go. I've always stupidly done a time consuming roast and dished it out. What I'll do next time is just let everyone help themselves. The photos look fantastic. I hope you had a great night!
The chaos caused my unexpected dinner guests every other night of the week, yes the freeloading, mooching friends and family who think that by complimenting me on my cooking, I enjoy making our meals stretch further than they should and the financial drain that comes with it. Don't get me wrong, love them all to bits but really enough is enough,it's crazy that so many people continue to do it, always saying 'ooops didn't realise what time it was' and drop that continual hint of how hungry they are! Go home and eat, I'm not a soup kitchen lol
I have two young children and dinner time is witching hour so it's all quite stressful I'm afraid as I'm forever trying to entice the toddler to eat something - anything! - so he'll sleep better (he still breastfeeds a couple of times a night at least and he has just turned 3!), while trying to prepare something healthy and yummy for the rest of the family.
At dinner time it's like a giant food fight between myself, my husband and my 7 month old!
Kudos to you, lady! The thought of weeknight entertaining gives me the heebie-jeebies. With a 14-month-old, dinner time happens in 2 stages at ours. The Little One has hers at about 5.30, which generally involves food being flung about the joint and me tripping over the canine as he attempts to hoover up all her airborne offerings. I inevitably step in something squishy.The baby gets taken to the bath by her dad and I attempt to pull together a meal for us two to be consumed after the little one goes to bed. However in my attempt to be an organised Suzy Homemaker, this meal is often too dry/ overcooked/ missing an important ingredient by the time it is consumed post-baby-bedtime. Sigh.
Oh Sonia you just made my mouth water into my morning coffee...chaos is all I have known for the last few weeks with the twins doing the HSC the kitchen is open 24/7 with all their favs meals and snacks available...anything to get them through these final exams...throw Catty into the mix that thinks he is human and my dementing Aunty who is living with me atm....and don't forget the ever singing and dancing Little Bit who is feeling a wee bit neglected me thinks....and the goldfish aka whale...everytime I step in the kitchen he wants more food too....can you come up to Coffs Harbour with the voucher and cook me dinner...ploiseeeeee xx
Thank you for dinner it was lovely, can I come back again tomorrow night???? It all looks so good and your photo's are gorgeous! Love pork belly and those donuts are looking mighty fine! Getting my kids to sit in their seats for a whole meal is a challenge in our house, if I actually win that battle then getting them to eat with cutlery is the next challenge we now have eat like a "princess" meals which is using cutlery like any normal person and then "eat like a pirate" meals when they can go for it with fingers as a "reward", probably being a bit unfair to pirates! I am actually much more relaxed when we have people over as I'm too distracted to pay the kids much attention! x
Oh this is great! Yep dinner is always chaotic regardless of whose house you're in! I love having people over for tea - so much more relaxed and enjoyable!
My favourite dinner chaos moment would have to be the Christmas my parents came for a big festive lunch. I need to give you a little of the history behind the event for you to appreciate its' full value.
Years ago when I was a kid my family would go on road trips and holidays. This would consist of my little brother and I in the back, Mum in the front and Dad in the "drivers" seat. Whenever Dad seemed to drive erratically (in my Mum and my eyes!) Mum and I would see "funnytree". You see Dad is an aggressive driver and often on long journeys, when Dad was driving this way, Mum and I would have a private joke and one of us would say "Look there's one of those trees!", which meant Dad was driving badly!
This all started over 25 years ago. Whenever we'd say it Dad would say "Where? I don't know why I can't see these "bloody" trees!” which sent Mum and I into hysterics! He grew more frustrated as the years went by and he still couldn't spot the funny short, "African" looking treeMum and myself "saw"!
Every time we would do it, it became funnier and funnier and we would laugh our heads off!
These days I am married and when Mum and Dad come to visit for Christmas last year I asked her if she saw any of those "funny trees" and she responded yes! We laugh every time until our sides hurt and Dad says we are both nuts! Well, I stupidly said "Oh yes those trees are everywhere even around here!" To which my father replied can you show me one?” I told himI sure could and the next thing I knew he has dragged us all outside to look for these trees!
We walked a few blocks with Dad demanding to see one and I told him we were close, then I said "Oh, no it looks like they have cut it down, it was in the backyard of that place!!" I looked over at Mum who was trying not to laugh. Dad was totally frustrated having not seen one of these trees still and he wasn't in a great mood when I served up BURNT turkey lunch either. I had totally forgotten about the oven and smoke was pouring out the oven when wereturned!
These moments are the happiest, funniest moment I have had with my Dad but if he ever finds out it has been a joke for over 25 years this post may well become the "worst"! Ha, ha!!!!
Pork belly roast...does not get better than that!!! I love entertaining, I used to stress myself out about it but now I know that as long as the food and grog is plentiful then everyone will have a good time. Now I really want pork belly for dinner instead of the steak sandwiches I'm preparing!
Sonia, hi! See what you've done - now there is a quite large crowd of us waiting to get to your dinner (I just hope your yard fence is high enough ;). And, there is something I'd like to ask you: when you do find that 'really good magician' you mentioned, could you please send him over? I could use one at our place right now ;)
Have people over for a weeknight meal? Are you mad woman!! lol! Dinner here is often some crap that the kids will eat and its me gagging because for the love of god I just can't stomach Patak's Butter chicken again!! I seriously can't. Or its me whisking my plate away quickly before the kids see that mummy didn't infact eat her "loin meat" (a name we gave chicken skewers to get my then 2yr old to eat them and the name has stuck) because again, I just can't stomach the thought of eating the same foods over and over and over!! God help me.... when does this fussy stage end!!
Gosh you do entertaining so well!! That meal looks soooo damn good.Hubby and I give each other a high five if we, as a family of 5, get through a meal without a spilled drink, a broken bowl, a toddler tantrum or a fussy-eater-gag-fest. Meals can all kinds of fun at our place ;)C x
We have recently moved and don't have a dining table yet. So dinner time revolves around me trying to get my 3 1/2 yr old to sit still on the couch and eat SOMETHING!! In between telling her that yes, mummy always loves cuddles, but can't she please sit down and have some dinner? Meal times are such a challenge, I can't wait until the day she realises that food is a joy, not a power battle!! :o)
Aww man, I thought I was coming to your place :-/ Not so much chaos here anymore, my kids are a bit older now. I consider myself lucky if I can get us all at the dinner table together more than once a week!
(You sure I can't come have dinner with you??)
My husband and I both work...neither one of us great cooks. My specialty seems to be good old taco's. Once I even 'microwaved' a salad!! So needless to say we both pretend to be really busy around dinner time. One of us happens to be 'teaching' our puppy new tricks or 'helping' the kids with homework (which we both despise). The girls start saying 'I'm hungry" and then the dog strarts scratching them, one cries and then I start yelling at my husband because the girls are hungry and he starts yelling at me to stop yelling at him!!! Absolute mayhem. I'd love nothing more than a Coles Bbq chook and a tabouli from the deli. Dinners served. :)
Somehow my two year old has shifted his... ahem... bowel schedule to dinner time, so he's continually leaping off his chair, standing next to us, giving us his poo-smile. "Oh,... that was just a fart, mummy". Thirty seconds later, he's up again and giving us the smile. Yes, it's delightful dinner-time conversation round these parts.
Oh Yum!! Your post is so true - I still don't know if I am brave enough to have friends over mid-week - but a fabulous, extended family affair is a great plan...Your photography is also wonderful - everyone looked to be having a ball. Cheers
I do sometimes feel like I'm wrangling wild beasts. Other times it's wonderful. Talking, laughing, eating - family. It is these times that make me feel blessed.
My seven year old boy is extremely fussy with food, so unless I want to tolerate food-related tantrums, I'm forced to cook two different dinners every night. But then I feel guilty for not being patient and expanding his food range, so I try to incorporate something new into his meal a few times a week, but it's never easy. Tears, tantrums and two hours later, 'the ordeal' is over, for another night. Chaos, alright!
I have 4 boys with autism. They have all had food sensory issues and for many years I had to make them all different types of meals. nothing could touch on the plate, no mixed textures, etc. Sometimes I would cry before making dinner as it was so stressful trying to meet their food issues. Now things are great. They all eat the same meal. But no one sits together to eat but I don't care. As long as they are eating and eating healthy food, that is all that matters.
Chaos is my middle name. Firstly, the youngest amongst us refuses to be spoon fed, so his high chair now sits over one of those clam shell paddling pools a neighbour was throwing out to collect the scraps to feed the chooks. His chitter chatter increases in volume every nanosecond he has to wait for food, meanwhile the 4yo secretly would like to be spoonfed and prefers to see food as a construction material. We do like to subject visitors to our zoo like conditions quite regularly x
It's just usually me and my cats *cue violins* and if I don't feed them first they're usually all up in my face with their furry butts staring me down! Hence I feed them first because I do NOT want a fur ball in my (usually) tasty dinner that I will occasionally wash down with a glass of vino while watching the latest shenanigans of the Kardashians. Wanna come round??
Dinner at our place? With our toddler? Let me demonstrate:"Where's my drink?! I want it filled to the top! BIG WATER!! I want fork and spoon and knife! GIVE ME MY THOMAS SPOON! Want a hug! WANT A HUG! What is this? BLERGH. Blergh.""Get back in your seat now! Can you eat just one mouthful? Go on. Just a little bit. Oh no. Not quite that much. Chew it! Chew it! Oh no. Spit it out then. That's OK. Try a little bit this time.""WANT A HUG!" "Calm down and eat a little bit of your dinner, please." "NOOOOOOO!"*laps around the dinner table*"Are you finished? Is your tummy full? Do you want me to take it away?""NO! STILL EATING!""OK, get back in your seat please.""No. I running around the table!"*giggles*Repeat for another hour ;)It's OK. We get there! I'd love to win the voucher so I can experiment on my family more (I mean make them something delicious and worth sitting still for)! x
Ha - yes I too thought you were inviting one of us for dinner :). Have never cooked Pork belly - want to try it soon tho. What recipe did you use Petal??
Is it really sad I thought this was a competition to win dinner at your place when I first read the title? COS THAT'S WHAT I WANT TO WIN! xAs for what goes on at our place at dinnertime...Jazz is playing in the background. I'm pouring wine. The husband is cooking up a storm. The puppy is circling like a shark in the hopes of scoring a rogue piece of meat. There's much laughter and conversation, peppered with comfortable silence and happy smiles. x