I remember when my mom would go on what we referred to as a "strike". Though she had never travelled to Europe, she sure did employ the same work stoppage tactics to express her grievance about an issue. My mother was selfless and spent the majority of her waking hours making sure the needs of her family were met. Sometimes, she would start to feel taken for granted and unappreciated, and would simply go on strike for the evening. This meant that she would not cook dinner that night and would instead relax and take in some fine programming on the boob tube. On strike nights (which weren't very often), my dad would be in charge of dinner-which meant we would have a fun meal like Belgian waffles. Not exactly the most nutritious of meals, but a tasty treat for us kids.
Now that I have a family of my own, we have our own version of "strike night" dinners. I do not go on strike and refuse to cook (not yet, anyway), but the "daddy dinners" as I like to call them are similar. When I am not at home to cook dinner for my family, I do worry about what they will eat. Or rather, I specifically worry about what my daughter will be dining on for dinner.
You may think it a bit antiquated that a mother would worry about a meal (or lack of a meal) in her absence when there are so many quick food solutions. Allow me to provide you with a peek into mealtimes at the Morgan household when Mommy is not at home. Last night, I had to take our dog to the veterinarian for her annual check up. My phone battery had died so I didn't call my husband to provide him direction in regards to what he should feed my daughter. While in the waiting room, my mind repeatedly wandered back to the same questions - how are they doing and what are they chowing down on. When I arrived home, I had my answer. My young toddler was relaxing on the sofa, absorbed into a mind-numbing television show, with a half-empty pretzel container resting in her lap. I asked my husband cautiously, "Sooooo.....what did you eat for dinner?" His timid response sounded more like a question, "Pretzels?"
Now, we all know by now that I am not Betty Crocker or even Chef Boyardee, but I do at least attempt to serve a dish that could be mistaken for a meal. However, I do not feel the fault lies with my husband not wanting to prepare her a feast - I think he is just unsure of what our daughter should be eating. When it comes to our daughter, she is Mommy's little girl and prefers to be under my wing. Being with Daddy is fun to her, but when push comes to shove, she wants Mommy to feed her and Mommy to rock her to sleep at night. Since I spend more time with our daughter, I know that she likes yogurt, chicken, and grilled cheese, but will not touch peas, carrots or most any other type of vegetable.
I am contemplating instituting a few well-intentioned strike days here and there to give my husband some practice perfecting the menu for our daughter. Maybe he will graduate from carb-filled salty pretzels to something like .... a Belgian waffle. If prepared as delectable as my dad made them, then my daughter would get the benefits of dairy from the ice cream and fruit from the compote. It may not be perfect, but it's all about taking baby steps.