Dinner time freak out

Let’s face it, I can make excuses about how the kids need to eat early for the next 18 years, but if I don’t buckle down and bite the broccoli here soon, they’ll be grown and gone and will think China is just a country in Asia. It’s time for dinner.

Check out this week’s column for my take on family dining.


  1. I loved that article. Ian will only eat peanut butter and jelly, and dinner time is usually eaten with me standing up with Elise and Ian at the bar and Tristan in his high chair tossing his food towards the couch.
    Now I’m craving Mexican food.

  2. I just had a genuine laugh out loud moment reading that! We started eating meals as a family when our kids were about the same age as yours, and it took a while but now our kids are used to it and we do it every night. Give it time. One day a couple of years from now you will all be sitting around eating and you will suddenly realize that you are all eating the same food at the same time… and liking it!

  3. I loved loved loved this column. I come from a big family (10 kids!) and my dad used to joke that dinnertime was never “Love at Home” at our house, more like “Master, the Tempest is Raging.” We had it all: spaghetti fights, tantrums, the works. But after all these years of living on my own, dinnertime is when I’m homesick the most.

  4. Annie, I love you! You are totally my inspiration. You’re the reason I’m taking stupid writing classes at school that have nothing to do with my end goal. I want to write a column just like you! (seriously, no sarcasm intended. I worship the quicksand you walk on!) Any suggestions?

    • annie valentine says:

      Yay! Go Sally, rock those writing classes and jump on the mommy column train ride. We need more spouty women in the newspaper world.

  5. I adore you so much! I love that you can write that and not feel guilty for admitting it (not because its bad, but because people are so judgemental! I fear them.) you are so awesome! My kids would be doing the same thing, I think I need to start having sit down dinner…dang it.

  6. Oh Annie, that was so funny. I loved it!

  7. Loved the article! Hilarious! Now I don’t feel half so bad that we’ve never owned a home with a dining room . . . . .

  8. Um… I’m guilty as well. But part of the blame goes to a picky husband who doesn’t get home til almost 7pm. We sit w/the kids while they eat their dinner, & then we eat after the bedtime-wrangling is done… usually just before the 10pm news. So healthy… arrgh.

  9. We still don’t have a formal dining room. I wonder if we’d ever eat there if we did. Although, my dudes are 7 so I’m thinking it would be…interesting to break out the fine china.

  10. Shame, Shame SHAME!! on you Annie! (:P) Now, I understand that I only have one crazy-nut to look after, but she could equal your three ANY day of the week. That said, since she was able to chew, we have ALWAYS given her grown up food — you know I’m not lying. That’s why when we were at Panera the other night w/you, she ordered the broccoli & cheddar soup instead of PB&J. We always use a tablecloth & encouraged her use of “grown up” tableware (even glass goblets!). We actually had a graduated plan for eating out in public (first, McD’s, then Denny’s/Bob Evans, then Applebee’s and finally Olive Garden or a place that takes equally as long to seat & serve). This made traveling with her in Europe SOOO much more enjoyable since we had trained her how to behave at home (NO burping allowed) and then in public. Given all that, she is about THE most uptight 8 yr old you’ll ever meet. Go figure!

  11. China is in Asia?

  12. One of my favorite columns so far! So funny!

  13. That was a hilarious column, Annie. Like most “simple” and “good for you” things, it IS hard work.

  14. That was a really great article. It made me laugh and basically made my day! Thank you.

  15. Soooo….my cute kid eating four cookies and a dinner roll last night won’t help dinner issues for later in life to eventually eat normal?

    And can I mention these said cookies have now gotten me awake with said cute kid since 3am this morning?

    What is up with food and kids?

  16. I didn’t know that you could eat dinner separately from your kids…it’s been 10 years that we have been suffering through family dinners!
    That said, we always eat in our dine in portion of our kitchen and our formal dining room, the one with the pristine carpet? That’s our Wii room. That’s right, our Wii is so important that it needs it’s own room, unsullied by food stains. Sometimes, you just have to get your priorities straight.

  17. Ever since I came back from England last week, I haven’t been able to make myself cook more than some boiled ravioli. Sandwiches and sliced apples, I can do. More than that sets my teeth on edge. Maybe I need counseling.

  18. I just can’t quit laughing…..sorry….