Invariably as I stand at the stove I will be approached five or six times with the question:
“What’s for dinner?”
“Food,” I say.
“What kind of food?”
“The kind that you eat.”
“I mean, what’s in it?
“Meat. And some vegetables.”
It probably seems rude to you, huh? But I have my reasons.
Let’s say they are unhappy about the answer. Now I have wailing, weeping and gnashing of teeth. They don’t WANT that kind of dinner. YUCKY, DISGUSTING, UGLY dinner. They are never going to eat again. They only want something yummy. Blah, blah, blah. They go through the house crying about their fate. They lament the fact that they have never had even a morsel of anything delicious while living in this house. They discuss all the places they have heard of, or perhaps even been to, where acceptable food has been provided to their ailing, withering tastebuds. They hurl epithets at the meal, saying that it is worse than anything they could think of – even liver! They speak longingly of such ethereal fantasy places as “Aunty Beccah’s House” and “Grandma’s House” and “Mormor’s House,” where they would never be served anything so awful. They plan aloud to leave and move in with neighbors who would certainly share their culinary preferences. *
OK, now let’s say the kids are happy with what I tell them. Now I have to deal with an ear-splitting “YAY!” and the news travels on wings throughout the house. “We’re having XXXX!!” must be repeated far and wide, in louder and louder tones, to everyone individually. This usually wakes the baby, whose lovely nap is the only reason I’m able to prepare dinner the first place. Nice. When they’re done shouting from the rooftops, they all traipse in and step on my feet to try to get a good look at the yumminess they crave. If I can manage to get them appointed to jobs that keep them far enough away from me that I can actually open a drawer or turn around without elbow-thwacking someone or stepping on a toe, I still need to hear about twenty seven bajillion times, “When are we eating? When will dinner be ready? Why isn’t Papi home yet?”
And then there’s the matter of changing tastes. Just when I am so sure that I have created the perfect meal that is a crowd-pleaser, one they have all claimed is their favoritest, most deliciousest meal in the entire universe, and Mommy can you make this every day? I feel confident enough to announce or unveil the meal, and someone (or two or four) has decided that actually, they never liked this, and they don’t prefer any, thank you.
So, rude? Yeah, I can see that. But I’m still not telling.