Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Random Dinner Related Stuff

My older children are, how do I say this tactfully, lazy bums unaccustomed to work. This is through no fault of their own as in the past we have required very little of them. Perform well in school. Use your manners. Maybe take out the trash or unload the dishwasher when I ask. In theory, I am a huge proponent of children helping out around the house. In practice, however, I have done poorly at making this happen. Being a stay at home mom, I have just naturally fallen into the roll of doing all the cooking, cleaning, laundry etc. Because honestly, it's easier than dealing with the kids attitudes, or spending the time to teach them how to do it correctly. This is lazy parenting on my part and it has, predictably, produced lazy kids. I want to reiterate though, that this is our fault, not theirs. It is a rare child that will rise above the level of what is expected of them. Something I would do well to remember when I slip into martyr mode and start complaining about having to do everything myself.

Yesterday, I started implementing my plans to be more of a "yes" mom this summer. We played in the sprinkler. We played Zingo half a dozen times. Today we went to a dollar movie. We are having Ice Cream cones after dinner. Tomorrow we are going Strawberry Picking. It has quickly become apparent to me that I cannot be "the fun mom" and "the mom who does it all." Something has got to give. And that something is going to be some of Brandon and Allison's leisure time. To start off with, I have decided I am not cleaning up dinner dishes any more this summer. I cook dinner 5 days a week and Brandon and Allison are going to alternate cleaning the kitchen afterwards. As one would predict, this has gone over like a ton of bricks.

But I am standing strong and as I am typing this Brandon is cleaning the kitchen. I suspect I will have to go in and show him what he missed. And I know that tomorrow, when it is Allison's turn, it will be worse. Probably involving tears. But it's a battle I would not be fighting right now if I had not waited until they were nearly 12 and 16 to start making them carry their weight. Learn from me my friends and start early. It won't get easier when they are older.

On a lighter note, I cooked two new recipes this week and they were both super yummy. They were also both from allrecipes.com. The discovery of this site has improved my cooking exponentially and mark my words there was lots of room for improvement. I am still far from gourmet though, and still generally have to cook with a toddler attached to my legs so all my recipes are simple.

Yesterday I made Chicken with Asparagus and Roasted Red Peppers. The picture on the website is really quite awful but in actuality the dish came out very colorful and pretty. It's also lite and uses fresh veggies. The only changes I made the online recipe was to throw in some fresh basil and to add a bit more chicken broth than it called for. I served it with Roasted Potatoes.

Today, I made Baked Tilapia with Dill Sauce. We have tilapia every week because I can buy it inexpensively in bulk from the big box store and freeze it in smaller portions. The only changes I made in this recipe was to use light sour cream and light mayo instead of the full fat stuff. I served the sauce on the side, but don't skip the sauce! It's the best part. My kids devoured it. I served this with Sesame Green Beans and Rice. Yum.

Oh, and now my kitchen is clean so we are off to have ice cream cones. Somebody pinch me.

13 comments:

slouching mom said...

yes. i've got to get on this. thanks for reminding me.

Chrissy said...

Good for you on the dishes. May your summer be wash-free.

My family does not like anything I cook. It's so frustrating. I've finally gotten to the point where I just make the things I like and if they eat some of it, great. If not, we usually have rolls or something.

Chaotic Joy said...

Oh Chrissy. I should have mentioned that while Shane and I loved the first recipe all of my children did not. Even Clara who loves veggies decided asparagus was not for her. I am like you though. I cook it. They eat it or starve. Except for Ben who gets babyfood if he won't eat it. Which is often. I guess I could offer babyfood to the rest of them as well. A couple bites of strained greenbeans and my cooking my be more warmly received.

flutter said...

good for YOU! have some ice cream for me

Lori said...

Oh, good for you! And I completely hear you about how easy it is to let the kids slip by with so little responsibility. I have recently stepped up my efforts in that area too and it is going just as well around here! Lots of happy smiling children, eager to pitch in and help Mom with whatever she needs. Ha.

Kyla said...

We've just recently started a chore chart for BubTar, little things...pick up toys from common areas, pick up clothes from where ever you stripped them off, clean room, feed the dog. Some nights there are tears (usually about cleaning his own room) but I think it will be worth it in the long run, when the chores just become second nature to his routine.

Good luck being the fun mom! I have such trouble with that...sometimes I just don't want to play Candyland 500 times! Heck, sometimes I don't even want to play it once. LOL.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the comment yesterday! It sounds like you're doing great with your kids... no kids like housework. But it sounds like you're rounding it all off with fun memory-making things like strawberry picking! (fun! I want to go!)

--Dev at planinpencil.wordpress.com

RAY AND TINA said...

HEY JOY,
JUST A NOTE, IT DOES NOT MATTER HOW EARLY YOU START THE WHOLE CHORE THING, THEY ARE GOING TO COMPLAIN ABOUT IT ANYWAY. I HAVE HAD BRITTNEE DOING CHORES FROM THE GET GO AND SHE STILL HAS ISSUES AND COMPLAINS. THATS JUST PART OF BEING A CHILD. THEY DON'T THINK THEY SHOULD HAVE TO WORK AT ALL, ONLY PLAY. JUST HANG IN THERE AND DON'T GIVE UP. THEY ARE NEVER GOING TO STOP. LOVE YALL!

Wendy said...

I have long required the kids to pick up their toys. They STILL complain every time I ask them. And, no, I don't ask them every day; just once a week to clean their rooms really well so that I can vacuum. Maybe I should start asking them more frequently... Also, Will has finally gotten old enough (well, big enough, anyway) to vacuum and he VOLUNTEERS to do this!

That's awesome about your kitchen. It should get easier with time when they realize they won't get out of it and will do better just to be done. Although, I don't have teens yet, so what do I know?

Gotta GROW with it said...

Thanks for stopping by my spot! It's always fun to meet new moms. You by the way sound very adventurous and WAY TO GO on the new dishwashers you have. "The Nanny" would be proud ya know!

As for the talipia...I don't even know if I spelled that right. Probably because I have NEVER heard of it! It sounds so fancy and when I looked it up I realized why...I hate fish. Okay, hate is a strong word, dislike fish.

One last thing....the dishwashers....your future daughter in law and son in law with thank you!

Great post!

painted maypole said...

i'm bad about that, too, from picking up the pajamas that MQ leaves in the middle of the living room every morning to often putting away her toys myself. I'm AWFUL. We did finally start making her take her dirty dishes to the kitchen counter, and now she does it nearly all the time without being asked. I need to add the next thing... probably dirty clothes into the basket. ;)

Lisa writes... said...

My kids, like yours, are somewhat domestic-responsibility challenged. They take after their mom. I need to do better, really I do, really I will...but I confess I'm a wimp!

And listen, I have never in my life cooked either asparagus or tilapia, so in my book you're a gourmet.

Beck said...

My kids ARE lazy bums. The funniest part of today was listening to them cry because I'd asked them to empty the cutlery tray. WAH!