2019-05-02 The One About Food (and Parenting)

Yesterday was such a long day and I did not have a minute to spare. I spent most of the day at the Med Center parricipating in sessions and meetings and doing that work thing I sometimes do. I only had a break from that in the afternoon long enough to pick up the kids from school and get them home. Then it was back downtown for Happy Hour with my co-workers. That was the highlight of my day.

I got to meet two of my co-workers who drove up from KC and had a brief interaction with a former colleague from my last company who stopped in to say hi to the team. My boss is also in town and he’s connected with lots of folks in our little healthcare data sphere. It was a good evening.

It was such a mad-dash of a day that I didn’t have time to cook my kids dinner. We had what we call is a “fend for yourself” night. I try not to do this too much for a couple of reasons. First, I like to cook for my kids (despite how picky they are) and have a nice sit-down meal together talking about our day. Secondly, on our drive to school this morning I asked them what they ate. My son said “chips” and my daughter said “nothing”.

She said “I was going to make nachos but forgot” and followed that with “I don’t need to eat, it’s not like I’m going to die or anything”. I was like, wow.. ok. What was I supposed to say to that?!

How about “yeah, not for a few weeks anyway”. 😜 in that moment I felt like a parental failure (an oft felt thing in my world). She’s less than 2 years away from flying the nest and still hasn’t learned the value of a good, nutritional meal or how to “fend for herself”. Perhaps if she was left alone for a few days the story would be different, hunger would kick in, and she would be forced to “cook”. Cook is in quotes because their idea of making a meal for themselves is still microwaving nacho chips with cheese or eating an unpopped pop-tart.

My son wasn’t much better. To him I said, “chips are not dinner”. He knows that but is also lazy and flexing a minute of independence to do what he wants. Then I followed up with “tonight we are having a proper meal”. A declaration to alleviate my crappy feelings about the whole thing. It worked.. mostly.

I can’t feel too bad about the situation because I recognize that people, even one’s own children, have to figure things out for themselves. Hell, I was brought up with a mom who almost always cooked balanced meals, yet when I left home and went to college and then ran off to Vegas, I ate terrible for like almost 10 years. At Iowa Western my main go-to meal was French fries and dill pickles and I probably ate fast food or bowls of sugar cereal for most of my 20s. I don’t recall cooking much outside of spaghetti and enchiladas and hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill. Oh and my favorite meal of all time which was Original Kraft Mac and Cheese and Applesauce (still is high on my list of favorites, right below cheeseburgers)! 🍔 😉

I’m sure my kids will also go through this when they leave home. I just hope my voice gets some airtime in their minds as they start to make choices. “Eat some fruits and veg with each meal” and “breakfast is important”. I have my own nagging voice to deal with all day every day and have learned the importance of nutrition and taking care of one’s body. My inner voices are always arguing about it. What is needed is a nice balance, but it’s not always easy. I digress.

All this thinking about food is making me hungry. It’s not even 9am and I don’t typically eat breakfast until after 10 or 11 sometimes (so much for taking my own advice).

Today is a new day, and an opportunity to make better choices. I’m back to sitting at my computer at home to do my work and I’m very much looking forward to dinner with my people tonight which will be followed by a little writing time with my writing group which I feel I’ve abandoned for like a month. It’s time to get back into that, and more than just a few hours a week. Pretty soon now I’ll be registering for classes and that’s exciting!

It’s going to be a great day.

Happy Meal Planning,

~Miss SugarCookie

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