Home > Holidays, Parenting > Family Dinner, Hold the Blood

Family Dinner, Hold the Blood

It has been a tough week in my house.  The time change zapped my energy,  I worked long hours, my husband was on a business trip and my daughter slammed me against the mommy wall.  And in case, I haven’t said it enough, I am coping without alcohol or sweets!  (This makes for a very dangerous combination!)

All week I have struggled with getting my diva to eat dinner.  (You’ll note that I usually interchange diva and princess, but I have not seen the princess this week, just the diva!)  She has been averaging 90 minutes to consume a meal and I used up my last bit of patience on Monday.

I was sharing my struggle with my friend Sonya and she recommended that I set a timer and tell my kids that they have until the timer goes off to finish dinner.  Once the timer goes off, dinner is over and if they haven’t finished, there are no snacks and no treats. 

Tonight, as we (meaning my husband) put dinner on the table, I set the timer for 20 minutes.  My husband also set dessert in front of them – something we never do.  We told the kids that we would throw the dessert away if they weren’t finished by the timer went off.

We were hopeful desperate that this would work.  I feared that another 90 minutes dinner would result in blood shed.  No, not my daughters!  What kind of mother do you think I am?  Don’t answer that.  Please.  The blood shed would be from me repeatedly hitting my head against the wall, chewing my fingers, pulling out my own hair and sticking a fork in my eye! 

Hallelujah!  It worked!

The kids ate their dinner and the timer went off as my princess (note the name change) was taking her last bite!  I will be trying it again tomorrow night without the dessert.  But tonight, I am still recovering from my collision with the wall and my leprechaun all-nighter so I sweetened the deal.

Thank you Sonya for saving my sanity and what’s left of my princess’ toy collection!

And for those of you who are curious about the outcome of my near leprechaun fail…

My kids made their traps, no thanks to me.  I was swamped all day with work, so the nanny, who is far craftier, helped.  When we left for t-ball practice as a family, our nanny RANSACKED our house and put little green footprints everywhere!  My kids were OFF THE WALL EXCITED!  They raced around the house for 20 minutes admiring the mess. 

Then my son cried hysterically bawled for an hour that he did not catch the leprechaun and we did not get it on video…

Can’t win ’em all!

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  1. March 18, 2011 at 6:43 am

    What a fantastic idea! I can see using this in the near future. I’m sorry its been a rough week but you’ve done a fantastic job of seeing the humor in your moments of struggle and sharing it with us.

    BTW you “cheat” on Sundays, right? (old Catholics die hard)

  2. March 18, 2011 at 7:07 am

    a timer…hmmm. That sounds like a good idea. I might have to try it! My son will take forever to eat.

  3. March 18, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    Good idea! I’m having a hard time with this issue as well. I’ll give it a try.

  4. March 21, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Hi Paige…

    I have so “been there, done that”! I am glad the timer worked out for you because the eating issue can drain you to the core! Last year I did a post about “Tips for Finicky Eaters” (http://simplysandwich.net/?p=147 under the Food category if the link doesn’t work). It has different ideas for kids at mealtime that may help out as a back up plan! 🙂 ~ Paula

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