Three Kids and a Dog

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Family Dinner

Growing up we always ate dinner together as a family. Well, at least we always tried. Sometimes my dad wasn't home from work yet or we had practice for some sport, but I always remember eating together, especially on Saturdays and Sundays. In fact, I remember finding it incredibly annoying in middle school and high school that I couldn't go out with my friends for the night until after we had had dinner together.

Now being a mom myself, I appreciate the importance of eating dinner together. Tom and I have always said that once Austen started elementary school/we moved to the suburbs that we'd start having family dinners. Since Austen was a baby, I always fed him (and then Peyton) first and Tom and I always ate later. Why did we do it this way? One, Tom wasn't getting home most nights until 6:30 p.m., which was too late to feed the kids, and two, we could definitely enjoy our dinner when we had more time to do so rather than attending to two little ones.

Well, we still haven't moved to the suburbs yet, but Austen has started elementary school and now that we're all home by 5 p.m. or so, we have time to eat together at our big table instead of just setting the kids up to eat at the island and me standing behind it serving them like a waitress. We talk about our day and our favorite parts. Sometimes it feels like I have two teenagers though as they don't reveal too much about their day. Other times, they sing cute songs they learned in school or listen attentively as Tom and I talk about our day too.

We've also been challenged with now finding recipes that our kids will also eat. They usually ate kid-friendly food and occasionally some of the leftovers from our meals the night before. In fact, Austen complained loudly last week when we were having chicken enchiladas, "Why do we have to eat adult food now?!"

But, they are learning to try new things and they don't get dessert unless they do a decent job of eating their dinner. Peyton, maybe because she's younger, actually hasn't turned up her nose at quite as many meals as Austen, and, he's usually the better eater! However, I'm impressed with how they've both just adapted.  And, I'm enjoying this new time with my family of four (soon to be family of five on Friday!).

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