food · growing up · slice of life

How I Landed Up Consoling Someone on the Kitchen Floor

I began thinking about my Thanksgiving hosting duties once the calendar turned to November. After 13 years of hosting, I have tried-and-true recipes, but I like to try new dishes. I am constantly on the lookout for new recipes. Puréed Roasted Squash and Yams With Citrus sounded like a delicious side dish when I came across it on the NYT Cooking website. I printed it out so I could remember to consider it for Thanksgiving.

The other day, I discovered a Maple-Mustard Roasted Chicken recipe in The Washington Post’s Eat Voraciously Newsletter. It sounded like it would pair perfectly with that NYT Cooking side dish. Why not make it now… for a weeknight dinner?!

First, I don’t know what I was thinking by trying two new dishes on a weeknight. Yet, somewhere between working with the kids to pack tomorrow’s lunches and helping Isabelle decode her Bat Mitzvah Torah portion (Yes, we are preparing for her Bat Mitzvah!), I managed to pull off both of these dishes!

I knew there was a possibility of some pushback with the cooked carrots and the squash/yam dish since the kids typically don’t like either one. (They must have an aversion to roasted foods that are orange.) I decided to give them smaller portions than what Marc and I had so they’d be willing to try it.
My plate is pictured above.

I bargained and lost. Isabelle began complaining as soon as she learned the names of the dishes. Of course, this led to Ari turning his back on the table and REFUSING to eat dinner.

“The chicken is good, Ari,” Isabelle declared after trying a bite. Then she tried the puree. “But not this, yuck!”

Marc and I dug into our food and were delighted by the taste of everything. However, our company was not great. Isabelle was pouty and Ari was obstinate.

We sweetened the pot. Instead of allowing them two small pieces of Halloween candy after dinner, we agreed to let the kids have three pieces if they finished their dinner.

Ari still REFUSED to try anything. In fact, he got up from the table and attempted to make himself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Marc took the peanut butter away from him and placed it on a high shelf. Then, Ari went into the fridge, removed a yogurt, peeled off the top, grabbed a spoon, and sat down at the table.

“No way am I letting him have a yogurt,” I said.

“The top is already off,” Marc declared.

“Fine,” I sighed, resigned to the fact that at least Ari made a healthy choice. I continued eating.

The next thing I knew, Ari finished his yogurt, retreived our ceramic candy jar, and brought over three small Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups for me to eat since I finished my dinner.

“I don’t need dessert,” I protested.

Then, he gave three candies to Marc. Ari must’ve had a plan because the next thing I knew, he grabbed one of Marc’s Reese’s, opened it up, and shoved it in his mouth.

“I think you have the wrapper in your mouth!” I called out.

Ari removed the wrapper from his mouth.

Isabelle and I sat there — stunned. Marc took away the candy jar.

“I’m still hungry!” Ari yelled.

“Eat your chicken,” Marc and I said in unison.

The next part is fuzzy for me. In the midst of all of this, we made a deal with Isabelle to eat half of her side dishes and we’d give her two pieces of candy. Thankfully, she got with the program!

“I want my candy bucket too,” Ari whined.

“But you didn’t eat your dinner. You had one bite of chicken. Eat your dinner and you can have some candy.”

“No!” Ari responded.

It was no use. Ari was on the move! He retreived his helper tower from the dining room, brought it over to the pantry, climbed up and tried to reach his Halloween candy bucket (which was not-so-conveniently located on the top shelf of our pantry).

“It’s too high,” he declared, climbing down. “I’m gonna adjust the height.”

“Don’t do that, Ari. It’s too heavy for you to do. And besides, you cannot have candy if you don’t eat your dinner.”

Do you think he listened to me?

He did not.

The next thing I knew, Ari let out a blood curdling scream and dropped to the floor, writhing in pain while grasping his fingers.

“Did the platform land on your fingers?”


Cue the big sister giggling as she popped M&Ms in her mouth. I shot her a look.

While Ari was laying with me, I asked him, “Would you teacher believe what went on here tonight if I told her about it?”
He replied, “I don’t act like this at school.”
{Thank G-d.}

Oh. My. Goodness. If only Ari had eaten his dinner!

And that is how I landed up on my kitchen floor, after what should’ve been a lovely meal, cradling my son and rubbing his head until the pain in his fingers dissipated.

Guess what we won’t be having as a side dish this Thanksgiving? Puréed Roasted Squash and Yams With Citrus.

Head over to Two Writing Teachers for more slice of life stories.

10 thoughts on “How I Landed Up Consoling Someone on the Kitchen Floor

  1. Okay, I’m a little sadistic. I laughed when you described Ari smashing his finger. I also had a flashback to an unpleasant mealtime w/ my youngest son. I might need to write about that. I’m not sure why I’m drawn to your food stories. This one breaks my heart a little—a contrast to my laughing, I know—because you deserve peaceful family dinners filled w/ new culinary delights from the NYT recipe pages.

  2. I love that you found the gumption to write this – – because in the time of year when so many are writing glowing Christmas card letters about how life is always perfectly amazing with permanent smiles and agreeable dispositions, you remind us that there is also the truth. And that the truth……is more entertaining and glowing than fictitious perfection. I’m so glad you wrote it and shared it and gave us a slice we can all read and relate to!

  3. A whirlwind dinner adventure that had everyone on edge. Poor little guy…but hopefully he will remember his fall-the next time. Make up new names for those veggie dishes next time…use some scientific Latin words that won’t cue the kids to what the veggies really are. Fun Story! 🙂

  4. oh dear! I did have to laugh and know these this well both with my own kids and now my Grandson. It is so hard to try new things – especially food. The dish sounds wonderful! May have to give it a try!

  5. This piece really brought me back to the adventures of dinners when my kiddos were younger. To give you a little hope. .. we have had a giant thing of candy on the dining room table since Halloween, and I think I’m the only one who took any candy from it: a piece of gum earlier today. 🙂

  6. Oh, I know I shouldn’t be laughing… but I kind of am. What a dinner! I’m glad that you and Marc enjoyed it, and while I’m not happy that Ari’s fingers got hurt, I do believe in natural consequences & I’m betting he won’t try to adjust his stool on his own anytime soon. Still, what a dinner. I’m surprised you didn’t all end up on the floor!

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