Potentially lovely dinner, that is. Children really aren't necessarily the best dining companions, at least not when they outnumber you. It can be completely draining to justify your food to 3 prepubescent boy critics. Liam usually is the most compliant in food things, but he excused himself to use the bathroom and was gone for a long time. Like half-a glass-of-wine long. And we use big glasses. When I went to retrieve him, I found him on the floor; he had fallen asleep. Griffin was adamant that he didn't like potatoes and we played hardball with him - he wasn't leaving the table until he had eaten that teaspoon of potatoes he had been served. He and Tom are still at the table. Quinn, actually, was okay. He ate the potatoes and even fell for my oldest trick, the old, "No, you can't have those potatoes. You're not old enough." He asked for 3 servings.
So many imagined joys of parenting just haven't developed into reality. I always pictured baking cookies with my children. Music would be playing and we'd be having a great time using cookie cutters and McCormick's food coloring to make icing in a rainbow of shades. Reality: not fun. It is a stressful mess with flour and sugar everywhere. I'm just not good at letting go and I always say that my children make a much better impression outdoors. Speaking of outdoors...I thought that sleigh riding with the boys would be great, laughter bouncing from blindingly white snow to blazing blue sky. Ah. You know what? It isn't. They get cold and tired and in need of bathrooms before they've even worn a path down the hill. And my final example is Sunday dinner. It's such a nice idea - a pleasant interlude, as a family, before we start another hectic week. Unfortunately, it doesn't work out that way too often. Cloth napkins and dimmed lighting can only go so far. Creating a relaxing, comfortable ambiance for dinner with 3 children at the table is more of a challenge than I ever imagined. Thank God for wine.