Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

On Strike

I have decided to go on strike.

Let me start by saying that I absolutely, positively, unequivocally abhor cooking.

I would rather do almost anything other than cooking. Once, Diminutive One asked me if I ever make cakes and cookies and stuff just for fun. I don't bake, you see. And he, being a connoisseur of all things baked, finds this unacceptable.

"Diminutive One my dear, I find 'fun' and 'cooking' to be a contradiction in terms."


"What I mean is, I don't find cooking fun."

"You don't?"

"No. I don't like it at all."

" do it all the time."


I could see that his wheels were turning. He is a smart kid and certainly not inclined to let an opportunity go unexploited.

"Well, why don't you just ask Dad to pick up dinner on his way home? Then you wouldn't have to cook stuff."

"From where?"

He shrugged with exaggerated nonchalance. He was onto something, but he didn't want to give away his eagerness and blow the sale.

"I don't know....there's McDonald's, Burger King, Sonic, Zaxby's. We could have something different every night. It would be great!"

"Well, not cooking would be wonderful. But it wouldn't be healthy for us to eat that stuff every night. It's my job to provide you guys with nutritious food. So I do it because it's part of taking good care of you."

He was noticeably crestfallen. Aside from being a lover of baked goods, Diminutive One is a junk food junkie. And if it isn't fried, frenched, pattied or fingered, it's simply not worth eating.

Pre-Pubescent One is a much more adventurous eater and I don't have to worry much about what he eats. But it's how and when he eats that presents a problem. At his school, they must eat in shifts. His lunch period begins at 11:30. They have 20 minutes to eat, which includes the time they must wait in line for hot lunch. He often has to bolt his food and doesn't finish all of his meal. And then, he doesnt' get off the bus until 4:45.

A hastily eaten early lunch, combined with a raging metabolism, means he is always STARVING when he walks in the door. Unless I have supper ready at that very moment, he is mewling with hunger. And of course, I allow him have a snack. Because a Mom reacts to a child's hunger with an age old urgency. It pains a mother not to feed a hungry child.

As a result, he often is not hungry at dinner time and merely picks at his food. But guess what happens if he doesn't eat dinner? And hour later, he is STARVING again.

This is all very frustrating for me.

Although I hate cooking, I am actually pretty good at it, and I manage to provide what I think, are reasonably nutritious and fairly delicious meals. Admittedly, I do sometimes give in to the seductive simplicity of corn dogs, sloppy joes and frozen pizza. But I try to make those occurances infrequent.

So I spend a lot of time doing something I loathe, because I feel that it's part of my responsibility as a mother, and because it's good for my family.

The fact that it goes entirely unappreciated is sometimes a little tough to take.

Last night I made a pretty pedestrian meal of meatloaf, mashed potatoes, corn and spinach (corn for the kids, spinach for Husband and me). These are all foods that have met with approval and even enthusiasm on previous occasions, so I really wasn't prepared for the battle that ensued.

My children behaved as if I was trying to feed them toxic waste. They moaned, they groaned, they wheedled and they whined. Diminutive One emphatically stated exactly what he would eat and what he would not. Pre-Pubescent One complained that he wasn't hungry because he had a snack. They both pushed their food around their plate and insisted that they had eaten.

Then they began to bargain, telling me they would eat, but only if.

That's when I lost my temper.

"You know what? I'm not cooking anymore. Do you guys know how much I hate cooking? I HATE it. And I spend a lot of time doing it because it's my job and I care about you having nutritious food to eat. But nobody seems to give a shit. And I'm sick and tired of spending hours preparing a meal only to listen to you two ungrateful little brats whine and complain. I'm done. You can feed yourselves from now on."

I left the table and went to my room. Stunned silence followed me up the stairs. They realized that I was well and truly pissed off.

When I came down, the table was cleared, the dishes put away, and the kitchen tidy. Husband had made them eat every. single. bite. and then clean up. They both came to me shamefacedly and apologized. I apologized for saying hurtful things.

They felt better. I did not.

Because the problem isn't solved. Although losing my temper might have been cathartic, in the long term, it wasn't terribly constructive.

I need to take action.

So tonight, my children will likely be eating peanut butter sandwiches of their own making.

I'm not kidding.

Not even a little.

Did you ever see that movie "Failure to Launch?" It's the cinematic realization of my worst nightmare.

I will raise self-sufficient children, dammit. And I will not foist upon the world husbands who expect their wives to parent them. I will not beleaguer those poor someday women with men who insist that their mothers were the very essence of domesticity and servility.

Will it work? Hell, I don't know. But it's better than nothing, right?

At the very least, I'll get the evening off.


  • At 9:51 AM, Blogger Sarah said…

    i can't wait to see how this plays out.

    because we have the exact same situation at our house.

    be firm, BA!

  • At 10:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Have you seen the blog "Make Your Own Damn Dinner"?

    Check it out--it might serve as some inspiration.

    I hate cooking myself, and it's 80 times harder to make a "homecooked" meal when I don't get home until 6 and my son goes to bed by 7:30. (He's only 18 months) I can only imaging what the future holds. Ugh.

    Good luck.

  • At 10:30 AM, Blogger All Things BD said…

    Oh, I don't enjoy the cooking either, and when I set a reasonably delicious meal in front of my kids and they proceed to tell me how much they don't like it, I want to scream. Instead I say okay, you're done, kitchen's closed, goodbye.

    Maybe I'll try a strike next. Unfortunately, I think they'd be just fine making hot dogs and PB&J for the rest of their lives. Can't wait to see how it goes for ya.

  • At 10:35 AM, Blogger thailandchani said…

    That is one task I'm happy to be free of.. and a PBJ sandwich or yogurt, crackers and cheese works just fine.

  • At 10:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I had a very similar reaction to the dinner I made last night-- and it was Sloppy Joe's, something I wasn't expecting such a sour reaction to.

    I'll be anxious to see how your strike plays out-- I may be following in your footsteps.



  • At 10:57 AM, Blogger we_be_toys said…

    Nothing like having to make dinner their own damn selves to make them appreciate the "pedestrian" meals you make- I say "good on ya, mate!"

    I haven't had to go this far, because I just let "Daddy" make dinner once in awhile - it keeps them aware of where the good stuff comes from!

  • At 11:00 AM, Blogger Life As I Know It said…

    I actually used to enjoy cooking. Before I had kids. Now it is a chore. An obligation. Met with grumbles and complaints that turn into food battles.
    Not fun.
    Every few nights they get to pick dinner...nuggets, grilled cheese. Whatever. I get the night off and they're happy.

  • At 11:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I had a similar problem in high school and kept a little snack in my locker that I would have right after school ended. If he brought a snack with him, he might be able to eat it earlier than when he gets home and be hungrier for supper...?

  • At 12:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It will work out in the long run. My oldest is adventurous and will try nearly anything. My youngest.....good luck. If she won't eat what's been made, she is welcome to make her own (which she does often). We try to keep healthy choices around the house.

    We try to make a wholesome dinner on the weekends so we have leftovers, but with everyone's hectic schedules, it doesn't always happen.

  • At 1:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Our household is similar to Doug's - you eat what is made or you are welcome to fix yourself a sandwich after the required 5 bites to tell me you don't like it. After my picky child ate pb&j 7 nights in a row, she was willing to try what was put in front of her and to her surprise, she liked it. She will still have a sandwich about once a week but her tastes have definatley expanded and she is more willing to try new things.

    Good Luck!

  • At 1:35 PM, Blogger Amy Y said…

    I hate cooking too. Unfortunately, my husband (who loves it, is good at it, and who makes everything with cheese so my children will eat it) doesn't get home from work in time to cook too often.
    It's an endless battle...
    Let us know how peanut butter sandwiches go!
    Good for you for sticking to your guns, Mama.

  • At 2:50 PM, Blogger KT said…

    You are singing my song!! Please let us know how this goes. I'm very curious. I might go on strike myself.

  • At 4:10 PM, Blogger Bea said…

    This is going to make for great blog fodder. I know that's not why you're doing it - but still.

  • At 4:53 PM, Blogger Terri said…

    I so totally understand your feelings about cooking. As Slouching Mom said, I can't wait to see how this plays out.

  • At 5:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think you're doing the right thing to inspire your kids to be a little more proactive about the food in the house. I was not a cooker growing up and I probably made my mother nuts with my pickiness, but my kids DO cook because I've started - after dealing with the scenario you described - required it. It's a messy process but it does instill self-sufficiency and they get involved with learning about the preparations of meals they like. Why not have them plan the menu and participate?

  • At 6:44 PM, Blogger Girlplustwo said…

    you. go. girl.

  • At 7:36 PM, Blogger Shelley Jaffe said…

    Attica, Attica!!! You strike your heart out, girl. Around the vonB compound, they learned early that no like-y, too damn bad. If you can't make something for yourself, I guess you'll just go hungry until you realize that I'm not feeding you poison. When they were younger, they ate a lot of cereal. And I once served my older son the same piece of toast for 5 meals straight. They do have a survival instinct, and will eventually cave. As a result of unwavering meanness, I have 2 t.a. boys who are very good cooks, with a wide assortment of recipes in their stubborn heads.
    I will now go to work on reducing the thread count on their bedsheets ...(Failure to Launch scared the poop out of me, too!)

  • At 7:45 PM, Blogger mamatulip said…

    AMEN, sista.

  • At 8:46 PM, Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said…

    The Baroness' "Attica!" is making me laugh. Good for you! My guess is, after a few nights of PB&J, they will be begging you for that meatloaf!

  • At 8:47 PM, Blogger Bud Weiser, WTIT said…

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • At 8:48 PM, Blogger Bud Weiser, WTIT said…

    Wow. You do the best rant. And even as a guy, I agree with you 100%. The fact your family figured it out quickly and made sure you knew that, should be very gratifying. I'm years removed from this battle, but I remember...

  • At 9:21 PM, Blogger Chicky Chicky Baby said…

    I'm starting to really enjoy cooking, but it's tempered by the fact that Mr. C comes home at weird times and Chicky and I have to eat before him. I do not like trying to cook for two, or have to make something that will keep or reheat easily.

    Couple that with Chicky starting to get picky about her food and I think I'll quickly go from liking to loathing cooking. Hope your plan works out!

  • At 9:35 PM, Blogger SUEB0B said…

    My ex cooked for his whole fam from the time he was 10 - his mom was mentally ill, though, not on strike. So it is doable. They CAN learn. Buy them a Betty Crocker basic book and let them go at it.

  • At 10:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    We try to make dinner in thirds. Two new things, and one thing they will eat. Not always doable, mind you, because we have a few kids.

    If they don't like something, they don't have to eat it. But they don't get anything else either. They can eat the thing they like that is on the plate - even if it is just the mashed potatoes. One night of an incomplete diet won't hurt.

    It has worked wonders since we implemented this 2 years ago, though a few nights were pretty bumpy.

  • At 11:03 PM, Blogger Angela said…

    I joked once that I would have seven kids so each night one could cook
    I don't think I could handle that many kids
    I will stick with one for now

  • At 11:12 PM, Blogger flutter said…

    Oh see, I love to cook...I'd rather do that than to touch a dirty dish.

  • At 1:17 AM, Blogger Unmana said…

    Good for you! I hope it works out. All the best!

  • At 3:53 AM, Blogger Polgara said…

    Cant wait to hear what happens
    Pol x

  • At 4:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm watching too.

    I'm lucky as dh loves to cook, but we have the eldest who eats only pasta, steak or pizza, and the youngest who pretty much will try anything.

  • At 10:48 AM, Blogger Middle Girl said…

    It is never too early to get the kids involved, invested in the process.

    Both of mine learned to prepare simple meals and do their own laundry farily early.

    Our battles came with washing dishes. Once I boxed up every single (extra) dish, utensil, cup or glass leaving only one for each family member. Everybody had a turn at washing, at the very least, the dish they wanted to use.


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