Just like every other family, we struggle with dinner time. Everyone is tired and cranky, not to mention hungry!
I wish I could offer 10 tips on making dinner time successful with two small kids. But I don’t think I could come up with a single suggestions! What might work one night with one kid, might not work another night and probably not with the other kid on any night!
We struggle with food prep. The kitchen is always chaotic as I try to get snack and milk packed for the next day, prepare dinner plates for the kids while my husband is cooking our dinner, cooking extras for our lunches and unloading the dishwasher from the night before. The kids are whiny and underfoot. The cats either trying to steal whatever food we are cooking or fighting with each other. We try to do this all while renovating the kitchen! We have no floor, the walls are a mess and the only counter and cabinets are what is holding the sink together! Yeah!
Sometimes it is helpful to engage the kids in our activities. Connor made the table arrangement pictured above. Sometimes they both are interested in setting the table and sometimes we end up with a dozen napkins and no forks! Often they are running around throwing plates like frisbees and stealing the utensils from the dishwasher to have sword fights.
As I have mentioned a bazillion times, Connor is my picky eater who is also super tiny so we are constantly struggling to get him to eat dinner. I remember a time when we couldn’t even get him to sit at the table. Thanks to preschool and school lunches he is open to a few more different kinds of food – FISH STICKS! Amelia’s is usually a pretty good eater, but takes forever at the dinner table. She will most anything, but often makes unreasonable demands – like apple milk or steak knives!
But dinner time is one of the few times we have to connect as a family, talk about our days and get our heads on straight about what the next day has in store for us, chaos and all!