One of my pet peeves in general is picky eaters and bad table manners. So when you add this to a newly blended family situation…well let’s just say I go from June Cleaver to Cruela De Ville in a matter of minutes. Seriously. Have you ever read the book by Dr. Seus, “Green Eggs and Ham”? Well, I believe this book was written about my two step kids. I am not kidding. Basically the same lines are repeated throughout the book like a broken record that you want to smash to smithereens. “I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them Sam-I-am.” This is what I heard at every single flippin meal. It is like nails on a chalk board. Growing up I was expected to eat what was put in front of me and I had better not even think about complaining or I would get one of those looks…you know what I am talking about. Those famous parent looks that say everything like, “Don’t even think about whining. You’re lucky you even have food! I brought you into this world and I can take you out!” LOL
In fact, if I so much as made a face, snicker or sound about the food placed in front of me, I would get another helping of whatever it was we were having. Ugh…turnips! Still makes me shutter.
Ok, so back to me turning into Cruella De Ville. This was a routine character change for me at meal time. This carried on for several months until one dinner when I decided that something needed to change. I had prepared some pasta in an alfredo sauce with cooked chicken breast and veggies. Doesn’t sound too horribly disgusting does it? I didn’t think so but apparently to my two step kids it was as though I was asking them to eat a roasted to perfection tarantula with a side of worms. It was one of my kids faves so no troubles there. Anyways, dinner turned into a huge bout of drama that included screaming, gagging, vomiting, tears and some stomping. Ahhh, good times. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. To me, this was completely unacceptable. Oh, and to top it off one more little kicker. Kevin (Rob’s 8 year old son) shoved his plate to the side and said “I didn’t order this, I’m not eating it.” Huh? WTF? Did I miss the sign as I walked through the front door tonight that said “Mc Jackie’s R’US”? To say the least, that was the “Straw that broke the camel’s” back for me.
I smiled and looked at Rob, put down my fork and politely excused myself from the table and headed upstairs to our bedroom. This was my cooling off period to collect my thoughts and calm down so I didn’t lose it in front of the children. That evening I made it pretty clear to Rob that some changes were required…immediately. The key to a healthy happy relationship and family (blended or not) is communication. So important.
Needless to say, we talked it out…a lot. We have had and continue to have some trying meals together however things are going much much better now. The expectation in our house hold? Well, first we are not a restaurant so you may not “order” your food. Second, you need to eat what is prepared for you (whether you like it or not because that is life!) and use your manners!
Rob and I have been together for two years. Things aren’t perfect but at least I don’t have the words “I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them Sam-I –am” running through my head at each meal. As for Cruella De Ville…well she still veers her head now and then.