Why Family Dinner is Risky: A Story in Disaster Creation

If you’ve parented during the internet age, chances are you’ve seen statistics about the importance of family dinners. Family discussions, healthy meals, etc. contribute to all those great things we want for our children. Except… oh, except for when making a home cooked meal for the family comes at great risk. Yes, for the mother of the toddler it requires turning her back to either the home or the stove, dividing attention between the two. Say, for a moment, that a mother receives a phone call or needs to finally relieve the bladder she’s held for 5 hours… well now.

This is why men look at us in disbelief when we announce that we have waited for them to come home so we can use the restroom or shower for more than 60 seconds. Today, I will  show you what happened while I took leftover chicken off of the bones and threw it into a pie shell with broth and veggies to make chicken pot pie for dinner.

First, the 4 year old scurried into a room out of sight and went through every game we have, littering the contents while my hands were covered in chicken. William decided to crawl and then roll through the pieces, while giggling and playing dead, pictured here.

messy house

I ran to the room where this originated to find a desk destroyed and flowers overturned. Choking hazards littered the floor like an abandoned landmine field.

messy house desk

(I spy with my little eye… a shadeless lamp, 300 clear and blue marbles, recycling material scattered on a desk, spilled flowers and mail on the ground. Can you?)

While those were being picked up by Culprit #1, I returned to find William throwing K’Nex at the window. He had removed his pants and found the cowboy hats, which he placed on his head. I heard “Hat!” for the next 4 minutes.

messy house will

As all the ingredients were placed in their proper shell, I checked on the clean-up progress in the other room. The marbles were put away but my money was missing. Nothing says ‘toddler’ like a wallet raided of crucial identification. “I left it in my other pants” has become “I have a minion army of my own making that raids me regularly as I make dinner.” I’m sure that will go over well.

messy house wallet

Yes, ultimately family dinners do bring the family together. For us, it’s over the toy bins while singing the Clean Up Song.

If you called it a loss and ordered pizza tonight, well done. You get bonus points for paper plates as well. Heaven knows what horrors the dishwasher has seen. More than one plastic toy and bouncy ball reached a watery grave while burned on the heating coil in that thing.

Here’s to you, parents with houses that are disaster areas. Chances are you are doing it right. Even if you aren’t, you aren’t alone.


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