A few weeks ago, I was in an unusual mood. I was actually excited to make dinner! A new chicken recipe was the cause for my enthusiasm. As I grocery shopped, I remembered I had a bag of potatoes at home and decided homemade mashed potatoes would make a nice accompaniment. Homemade mashed potatoes on a weekday? Crazy! Some fresh cherries would complete the ensemble. Dinner was on the table by 5:15, much earlier than our average 6:30 dinnertime. I was pleased with myself and my meal. I was feeling like a regular Paula Deen.
It didn't take long for reality to pop my swelling pride. While my husband complimented me on how great everything was, my children obviously felt differently. My son didn't touch his plate. My daughter was busy pushing pieces of chicken into her mashed potatoes. I looked at my husband with irritation. "This is great!" he exclaimed in an effort to distance himself from the behavior of our offspring. (In the past, he has been innocently grouped with my children during my rants of "Nobody likes anything I cook/ It is so unrewarding to cook for you people!"). He has has learned that constant compliments and eye contact are the key to imprinting his innocence in my mind, and therefore his survival. Despite my obvious strike out with the kids, I patted myself on the back for my efforts.
By the end of dinner, my son had eaten enough dinner to qualify for dessert. My daughter had given me her fork and was attempting to shove her dinner in her highchair seat. I looked at my husband. In a dejected tone he reassured me, "I really liked it. I wish that you would make it again." But he already new the truth. "Thank you," I said, acknowledging his appreciation, "But, I'm sorry. It'll probably be a while until I make this." A person can handle only so much rejection. It's majority rule at our dinner table.