Tuesday, September 11, 2012

One of my Pet Peeves

One thing that really gets to me is when I call my family to dinner and they don't come.
Now, I understand taking a few seconds to finish something up before coming to the table, but I'm talking about many, many minutes.
I have been known, on occasions, when my family does not join me at the table, to go ahead and start eating by myself.  They eventually notice and then guiltily join me.

Well, today, I spent some extra time and put one of Andy's favorites in the crock pot...Chicken Corden Bleu...awesome recipe found here.
I knew he was going to go to the Brigham City Temple open house with the youth in the ward right after work.  I calculated time and figured he should be home around 6:00 p.m. (that was even giving him some cushion time).  About five o'clock I even made some herb bread...I usually don't make much beyond the main dish :)  At six I called Andy's cell to find out when he would be home.  He told me that they were out of the temple and were going to walk back to the cars and have something to eat before they headed home.
After I hung up the phone I called the kids to come to the table.  Since I was finishing up last minute details on the meal I didn't push it when they didn't respond immediately.  I asked again a minute later and then when they didn't come I raised my voice (slightly :) and called them a final time.  This time I got a couple of whining responses basically saying they were too busy doing something else.
 (They had found their Silly Putty in the bread box which they hadn't seen for months.  You see, I store many of the little trinkets and things I don't necessarily want them to keep in the bread box in hopes that they will forget about them.  After enough time has passed and they have forgotten completely about these things I throw them away.  I know that sounds really mean but it is one way I have found that helps to keep the clutter down.  Anyway, someone found their little treasures in the box and they were happily engaged.)

After that response I dished up my own food and enjoyed a solitary dinner.  The kids were clueless.

Here they are half an hour after I called them for the third time.

I finished eating and then fed Ben his dinner.
I waited for someone to say something but they didn't, not even when I told Josh it was time to go down and get his scout shirt on.  Abby and Matt finished playing and asked if they could go outside.  Why not?
Josh went off to scouts and I put the away the food.  An hour passed.  The kids came in from outside just before Andy arrived home at eight.  Then it came...
"Mom, we never had dinner".  I calmly explained that I had eaten dinner but they never came to the table when I called them.  I offered them bread and butter since dinner was put away and it was bedtime.
That did not make them happy but they finally ate and we got them to bed.

This is a fault of mine.  Often I would rather play the martyr than try and work things out calmly.
It's something I should work on...however, in my mind I'm justifying it by telling myself that it's teaching them a lesson so that they will obey the next time.
We'll see how well that works out for me :)


  1. Nothing wrong with this kind of "lesson" for the kids. For your sake, if you can do it without the "martyr" attitude you will be happier and not carry emotional baggage with the experience. Not that I ever achieved that goal, but it sounds great in theory. : )
    If you had called me to have Chicken Cordon Bleu, I'd have come running!!

  2. That is hilarious Aimee. Even though I do not have kids, I think this is something I would do. I already to it to Bobby!

  3. oh, the frustrations of dinnertime. I'm not alone then, right? I hope you at least enjoyed a quieter dinner time. Mine usually involves a lot of chatter and convincing the kids to take a bite of something I've served them plenty of times that it isn't foreign. I think I can fret longer on the frustrations of dinner time but will end there. :) take care.

  4. That is frustrating. For what it's worth, I think you're doing what you should! Eventually I think they'll get the message that you mean business when you ask them to come to dinner! I have a tendency to take on the martyr attitude too. I don't know, but sometimes I think it's okay to feel like that; not all the time, but sometimes. It makes me feel like I deserve more respect so I try to act better to earn it. So yeah, I don't really know what I'm talking about cuz' if Lauren doesn't come to dinner I just chase her down and strap her in! Good luck. :)

  5. I'm with Janet-- I would've come running!

  6. I love you. You (slightly) raised your voice. Ha ha! You are just too good to be true. I remember as a kid we would be in the TV trance downstairs and my mom would call us and we would zone her out. Eventually she would run to the power box and cut power to the TV outlet.

    I think you played it well. Enjoy your dinner, and throw down a measly slice of bread when the tummies are grumblin'.

    PS nice decluttering tips!