Previous to the last few weeks we rarely ate at home. Weekend breakfast is Panera. Lunch is wherever we are while we're out running errands. Sunday dinners are Qdoba or Moe's because kids eat free and Rich loves Mexican. Rich usually assumes "what do you want for dinner?" meant "where do you want to go for dinner?" He loves to eat out. And there are some advantages to it. He can have a salad and I can have a steak or vice versa. There are no dirty dishes. We can incorporate it into whatever shopping we may be doing that evening.
But the portions are too big. I don't like being shoehorned into a combo that has way too many starches and not enough veggies. Why don't they make a combo that is an entire bag of frozen broccoli with four ounces of meat?
When our kid was in the "luggage stage" as a friend called it we could just park his little car seat bucket next to us at the cafe and enjoy some conversation. These days, though, our kid is incredibly busy. He wants certain foods. He may not be hungry when we're hungry. He gets bored quickly in a restaurant. He doesn't always have a good indoor voice. It just gets more complicated. And don't get me started on paying $6 for a kids meal that goes untouched.
So I've been enjoying our eating at home this week. Tonight Ian had macaroni and cheese, a hot dog and 4 bites of soup. He also ate half of my bagel about an hour later because he always eats half my bagel. Meanwhile, I had chicken soup and (half) a bagel as soon as it finished in the crock pot. Rich wasn't hungry yet so he read his book and about 30 minutes later had a small bit of soup and a grilled cheese sandwich I made him. We still all had only marginally similar meals and we certainly didn't sit down as a family and say grace, but I'm not expecting that. I just want my kid to be able to eat for the 15 minutes he's hungry and then go play trains if he wants so I can eat in peace.
I can eat an entire bag of frozen broccoli if I want. I can have 1/3 of each of the leftovers in our fridge from all the previous meals we've had. I can wait to have my slice of pie until 10pm.
Sure, we have more dishes these days but we also have a perfectly good dishwasher. The only downside is we have a lot of leftovers. Our chicken soup produced four storage containers of extra soup after we'd all had our fill, so I took two containers down the street to my folks'. As luck would have it, Mom had been sick all day today and was just getting up from a nap. She was hungry and wasn't sure what she was going to eat so my chicken soup delivery was just what she needed. It was nice to chat and catch up while she had some healthy food.
I do miss the Panera blueberry bagels, though.