What’s for Dinner?

family dinner help
I know they say the only things you can be certain of are death and taxes, but in my house, I’d add to that list, the daily question, “What’s for dinner?”

When I pick up my two year old from school, I’m lucky to get a hug and a “hello” before he states this daily query. Depending on my reply, he either declares, with delight, “I LIKE ________!!!” or, with disgust, “I DON’T LIKE ________.”

I don’t let his declarations of dislike bother me, but the question – “What’s for dinner?” – for some reason does. I can see that’s a little irrational – I mean, at 2, he has so little control of his circumstances and he’d just like a bit of a heads up on what I’ll be forcing him to eat that evening. I get it. But the question is still annoying.

Maybe it’s because it’s not just him asking the question but his sisters too – usually at separate times. And then, after everyone has been told individually, no one can seem to remember the answer, so each person asks the question on average 2.4 times per day. Multiply that times 3, plus maybe a time or two from their dad, and perhaps you can see why the question, “What’s for dinner?” might drive a person to throw a plate at the wall.

If I step back a bit, I can acknowledge that it’s not really the question that bothers me. It’s what the question implies – that I alone am in charge of the meal planning and cooking in our house. It’s not that I’d want it any other way – I don’t think. I’ve said before, Roger and I didn’t sit down when we first got married and decide that I’d be in charge of meals, but I cared more about it, so it just sort of evolved that way. (The fact that most if not all of our respective tasks happened to “evolve” along gender lines is a topic for some other time, I guess.)

But I digress. “What’s for dinner?” is a loaded question. There is no answer that will please everyone (except, perhaps, tacos), and if for some reason, God forbid, I don’t have an answer, well, the sky may as well be falling.

But since I’m working on meal planning, and I’ve assigned each night a specific type of meal, the kids should, in theory, come to know what to expect, at least on a high level. And if I’m feeling really on top of things, perhaps I’ll try to post the dish for each night on the board as well. Then, instead of answering, I can just direct them to the board (well, at least the two that know how to read). But that would require me to actually stick to my plan…and I’m still working on that. Stay tuned.

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