It was a night not unlike other nights over the past lots of years. A night not unlike one many, many women (and men) with children across the globe face more regularly than they’d care to acknowledge.
This particular night had the added bonus of being Halloween, whereby we:
a) Had absolutely nothing prepared, even though our lovely little community organise a fun event for younger kids and for the last three years we’ve been saying “This year we’ll be organised and at least decorate the house in some way and have some treats for door knockers”, and
b) The 9 year old had been invited to participate in the local community Trick or Treating with a friend, who had offered to pick him up from school and feed him before they went out, knocking on the doors of neighbours who had actually performed Step A (above) and were ready and willing …
There’s always something ….
Anyhoo, in this particular instance, the Grumpy One and I vaguely mentioned to each other that we had, yet again, not got ourselves organised, put our pyjamas on, realised the Middlest One had gone T or Ting with some friends, and the Biggest One was at work … so we made ourselves a nice dinner, that only the two of us would eat.
And ate it.
It was nice. All of it.
We sat back and relaxed for a bit, knowing we were unlikely to be interrupted by the ringing of the doorbell, watching from a position we could view the myriad ghouls and princesses (all of a metre tall) and take in the sounds of small children having fun. Always a good stress reliever.
Uninterrupted, that is, until the nine-year-old, in full commando getup, and his friend, Pennywise the Clown, rocked up and attracted some 4,027 other children from the area to join them. A quick rummage through my hiking bag, left at the bottom of the stairs (because WHY CAN’T ANYONE AROUND HERE PUT THEIR BAGS AWAY!) produced a small bag of snakes (the lolly kind). This catered for those who made an appearance, but that’s it.
We quickly fairwelled Pennywise and his Mum, thanked her for taking the Littlest One with her, and ushered them out the gate, and our offspring in the door, before anyone else came along, demanding treats and not even being prepared to trick or be tricked.
“What’s for dinner,” asked the ninie-year old, after we had vehemently assured him he wasn’t eating his collection of neighbourhood offerings for his evening meal.
“Ummmm,” I said.
As did Grumpy.
We thought he’d eaten, but apparently he politely declined the meal on offer. Had I known the meal was a slow cooked lamb, I would happily have gone to his friend’s house for dinner, and left him home.
Not overly inclined to be getting up and preparing a meal, I suggested he make himself a … something. I wasn’t capable of thinking of anything brilliant at that point.
Clearly not able to rely on the responsible adults (alleged) in the house, he choose to make himself a toastie. Ham, cheese, tomato on wholemeal bread.
All your food groups, right there (almost), in one sealed and segmented package.
AND it’s cooking!
He put up little resistance, but not much. Perhaps he, too, didn’t have the energy or brain capacity to argue?
It’s not like it’s the first time he’s done this. It is his go to meal whenever we cook something for the evening meal that he doesn’t like.
Which is pretty much any night we don’t have pasta.
Somedays,we – by which I mean “all of us in the world” – are just too tired, too distracted, too … whatever … to argue. It’s a fact of life.
But even I have my standards, and won’t give in enough to allow him to eat a bag full of confectionary. Nor will I throw a box of biscuits at him and tell him to eat those, or let him have free range in the fridge or pantry.
Besides … someone really needs to do some grocery shopping in this house. If we run out of ham, cheese, and bread, we may all very well starve …