Kiddo#2 suffers a revelation

In the dinnertime battles, I capitulated on Tuesday. My Patient Husband had to attend a conference that extended into the evening, and the kids disliked the menu I had planned.

“Suggest something else,” I said. It turned out, they all wanted pasta. I agreed on condition that they would help watch the baby while I cooked.

It used to be that on husband-free nights, we ate foods the kids liked but he didn’t.  Especially when he had his previous job, which required a lot of travel, the kids got used to a diet of shao mai and other treats that caused hesitant looks from my Patient Husband. He’d eat the stuff, but why force him when there were plenty of nights we could have them in his absence?

But we’ve gotten out of the habit, so that night, it was spaghetti.

After spaghetti, my son said, “What vegetable are we having?” and I said, “None.”

A parade was summarily thrown. Yay Mom, no cooking hated vegetables!

Kiddo#1 said, “Don’t you always say tomato sauce is a vegetable?”

I replied, “Yeah, but your father isn’t buying it.”

And in that moment, Kiddo#2 had a revelation.

“You and Dad disagree on things?”

She’d made it to age eight before realizing  unanimity isn’t a necessary condition of marriage and parenting.


  1. Jessica

    That made me smile….so funny when it finally “clicks.”

  2. Jason Block

    And the brain goes BOOM. 🙂

  3. AnotherFaceintheCrowd

    I’d never heard of shao mai until now… googling it, one starts to drool. 🙂 Now that is a treat.

    I bet Kiddo No. 2’s next revelation is going to be, ‘Mom and Dad may not always agree, but they don’t disagree enough for me to use it.’ 😀

  4. cricketB

    Yum! Shao mai looks like I could sneak in veggies, and less work than egg rolls.

    Yes, tomato sauce counts. 125 mL is one Canada’s Food Guide serving, of which a kid her age needs 6. Now I expect you to measure out a cup of your spaghetti sauce, remove the meat, and calculate the ratio. Off hand, 125 mL storebought with minimal meat is about right for a plate.

    Our kids learned early that we disagree. Or maybe that we prefer to let the other decide. I often ask, “What does Daddy say?”

    1. philangelus

      Well, because I’m a dumb Merikan, we’re using English measurements here. The can is 15 ounces. Divided by five of us, we get three ounces each. (The baby gets some too, but not enough to make a real difference.)

      125ml is 4.2 ounces. So….not quite enough.

      1. cricketB

        English ounces and Merikan ounces aren’t the same. Or maybe it’s pints or cups, or liquid vs solid, or weight (mass) vs volume. Something like that. We use British knitting needle sizes and some of their grammar and spelling, and, I just rechecked this, American cooking measures. As a kid, summer temperatures were Fahrenheit, winter temperatures were Celsius — house thermostat and ski wax.

        (Am I the only kid who paired mass and volume rather than mass and weight? I could never figure out why anyone would think “amount of something” had anything to do with how hard gravity pulled it. Too much scifi at a young age, I guess. And then I encountered slugs of mass, pounds of force, and pounds of mass. Go metric!)

        Can you add extra veggies? Thawed frozen veggies (or canned) run through the blender (or potato masher) hide well, although when I do a proper batch they get cut into large matchsticks and fried with the ground pork, which tastes better and gives nicer colour and texture (and get left on the plates, sigh).

  5. cricketB

    Oh, and kudos on them all agreeing. I’d say that any time they all agree, and it rates “easy enough, healthy enough”, they get it.

    1. philangelus

      That was kind of my thought as well. I knew I wouldn’t get a fight over it and it’s in the “okay” territory health-wise.

  6. Scott

    I think my son had the same revelation but in the other direction:

    “You and Dad are actually agreeing on something?” 🙂

    1. philangelus

      HAH! No, my Patient Husband and I are in perfect lockstep and in fourteen years, we’ve never had a fight (said in unison a la Z100.)

      1. cricketB

        Waiting for PH to reply to this one.

      2. Patient Husband

        I can confirm this. We’ve never, ever had a fight. Except for that one time when she was wrong.

        1. philangelus

          Was not.

          1. Patient Husband

            Was too. Infinity.

          2. philangelus

            Was not. Infinity times two.

          3. Patient Husband

            Oh yeah, well, 2*inf = inf anyway, so there.

          4. philangelus

            ♥♥I love you, Patient Husband!!!♥♥

          5. Patient Husband

            I love you too.

            It’s our mature attitude that makes our relationship work.

  7. Scott

    Wow, That was like Scott & Ross Z100 (Which is what my father listened to when he drove me to school)

    Speaking of which, are you attending the festivities next month?

    1. philangelus

      I’d like to be at the reunion, but I can’t figure out how to manage things with an 18-month-old baby who likes to be loud and hates being put down. For any reason. And becomes shy/terrified when people talk to him…which only makes him look cuter and thus entices them to talk to him more.

      We’ve tried to figure out how I can get there, spend time, and not have the baby have a nervous breakdown. I can’t figure out how to do it. 🙁

      1. cricketB

        Experienced babysitters are the key. Kid has nervous breakdown at home, and Mommy is blissfully unaware.

        I was the first babysitter for many kids (and parents). Trick is to go for a visit the week before to learn the house and routine, then on the day get the parents out of the house as fast as possible, so kid barely notices. But never, ever, leave without saying good-bye! Kid has to know they left rather than mysteriously disappeared. After that, “Is at work,” is usually in even a toddler’s vocab and includes the concept of “will come back,” but “at meeting” or “at church” might work better for some families. Don’t try too hard to distract them. They get bored of being upset faster if you sit a few feet away and do something interesting, but not between them and their favourite toy.

        After that, it’s a simple matter of convincing the parents that the breakdown was only for a few minutes — just long enough that they don’t feel bad the kid didn’t miss them.

        Ah, the memories. My parents report that most of my clients grew up quite well, much better than the national average.

        1. philangelus

          HAH! No, my Patient Husband would definitely keep the kids so I could drive to NYC, get all likkered up, and then come home again 12 hours later. But Kiddo#4 would have a nervous breakdown. The kid is like the almighty VelcroBaby(tm) and he sobs, heartbroken, if I go into the next room.

          It’s a phase, and it’s hitting at an unfortunate time. I could easily have done it five months ago, and probably five months from now I would too. But two weeks from now.