I’ve come a long way in my cooking, but I still get nervous when people come over for dinner. Last night, I made the kind of meal that I think, “I wish Rachel or Megan was here right now.” You know, so good that I would even be proud to share it with people who care deeply about what they eat.
I tried not to cry when my family hated it.
The baby screams, shoves food around his tray, screams some more.
The improvised, perfectly seasoned Cheesy Broccoli & Mushroom Quinoa is tasted. Chins pivot this way and that. Eyebrows lift and then scrunch.
“I don’t like broccoli. I’m. not. eating.”
I leave the table.
While in my room, I pout and sort my thoughts. I pray for wisdom. I resolve to act maturely. I open the door, and there is my husband, apparently coming to smooth things over. Never mind the maturity. I have one last burst of 7 year-old and push past him without making eye contact.
Finally chilled out, I share at the table why my feelings were hurt. It’s a big deal to me when I cook what I think’s going to be a delicious, healthy meal. (This does happen more than once a decade, contrary to how it sounds.) My emotions are high because a) I’m proud we’re not eating out and b) I’m really wanting them to enjoy the meal.
After I explain why I’m upset, my husband says, “I’m sorry. I just don’t like quinoa.” Oh. He’s kind of shocked that I thought it was so yummy, too. “Can’t we just have salmon the way you used to make it?” he asks.
This brings me to back to the wisdom granted in the hallway between the bedroom and the table: I ask for help. We brainstorm menus and get enough down for about 3 weeks. Hallelujah! That’s the hardest part of cooking!
I’m so, so glad I didn’t pretend their response didn’t bother me. What would my kids have learned from that? Not that I was thinking, “How can I model emotional honesty and healthy conflict resolution?” when I was walking away from the table, but hey – I’ll take them learning an alternative to unnecessary martyrdom any way I can get it.
Is there something that you chose to deal with head-on instead of pouting about it? Please share!