Before vs After Children: Friday Night Dinner

Before Children:

7.30pm: Get Dominos menu from the kitchen.

7.35pm: Order food.

8.05pm: Doorbell rings – collect food from kind delivery person.

8.06pm: Eat food.

After Children:

4.00pm: Longingly remember the days you could afford Dominos three times a week. Remind yourself that these days are dead and buried for the foreseeable future.

4.05pm: Reluctantly go to the kitchen and hunt out possible dinner choices. Stare blankly into a kitchen cupboard for a few minutes.

4.09pm: You hear Child 1 hysterically screaming in the living room so you rush to find out what’s happened, all sorts of horrific images fill your head (the tv has somehow unattached itself from the wall and is on top of him, or he’s somehow lost a finger or an arm from getting it caught in Child 2’s swinging chair etc etc). Luckily all that’s happened is the Peppa Pig episode he was watching has finished so you reassure him that another will follow shortly (praise the lord for NickJr).

4.15pm: Return to kitchen again. Find a jar of pasta bake. Feel smug. Pre-heat oven.

4.16pm: Now Child 2 starts whinging. Once again return to living room. After cancelling out dirty nappy as the cause of irritability, return to kitchen to fetch pre-made bottle of formula from the fridge only to find there isn’t one. Stare in horror at all the dirty bottles to the sink. Wonder why there is no wine in the house.

4.17pm: Time is now very much against you so you had better act fast. Frantically wash bottles and put in steriliser. Realise you have birthed children in less time it takes the piggin’ steriliser to run a cycle.

4.35pm: You can hear Child 2 starting to get quite frantic as you quickly make up a bottle then take a year to cool it under the tap. Curse yourself for giving up breast feeding. Child 1 appears in the kitchen demanding food so you considering chucking a saucepan at him along with a choice swear word but instead muster all your energy to stay calm and give him a rice cake and a crazed smile.

4.45: Child 2’s mood is now thermonuclear, but you manage to calm her down enough to get her to take her bottle.
*It’s worth noting here that Child 2 is the slowest feeder in the world.*

5.00pm: Child 2 has a quarter of her bottle and appears to have passed out. You gently lay her on her blanket making ‘shh’-ing noises whilst jamming the dummy in her mouth. You can hear your husband’s voice in your head telling you it’s too late for a nap but you are aware that you statistically have a much better chance of getting some form of dinner on the table with at least one child unconscious.

5.05pm: Ensure Peppa Pig/Paw Patrol/Thomas is on the TV then sneak off to the kitchen. Quickly throw together the pasta bake and grate some cheese to go on top to make yourself feel like you have actually cooked something. Remember Child 1 hates pasta. Debate whether or not you want to fight the pasta battle, conclude that you don’t have the energy and get out the trusty chicken nuggets and wedges. Put some peas in a saucepan to make yourself feel less sh*tty about the suspiciously beige food sat before you.

5.15pm: Hear Child 1 crying in the hall. You go out to find him sobbing face down on the floor because he’s dropped Gordon and Percy into one of your wellington boots and can’t figure out how to retrieve them. You get the trains out and spend a few minutes comforting him and wonder to yourself how your life has come to this.

5.26pm: Return to the kitchen, open fridge and silently scream into it. Check vegetable drawer for wine but to no avail. Put Child 1’s dinner in the oven.

5.27pm: Husband calls and confirms he will be 10 minutes late home because his meeting overran. Tell him you want a divorce.

5.29pm: Child 2 wakes up crying. Feed her another quarter of a bottle before she passes out again. Return her to the blanket.

5.40pm: Child 1 will have cottoned on by now that dinner is nearly ready and will be clinging to one of your legs as you walk down the hall like Jack Nicholson in the maze at the end of The Shining.

5.42pm: Serve up Child 1’s crap dinner. Start crying and slump into a heap on the kitchen floor when you realise you forgot to put the sodding pasta bake in the oven.

6.00pm: Child 1 has finished dinner (although most of it is on the floor and walls. Standard). Child 2 has woken up and is having some more milk. Husband strolls through the door and asks what’s for dinner. Cue more crying from you.

7.10pm: The children are in bed. You are in such a bad mood by now that you tell your husband you can’t face the prospect of crappy pasta bake. Again. He’s too scared to argue.

7.11pm: Get Dominos menu from the kitchen.

7.15pm: Order food on the credit card because you have maxed out your overdraft.

7.45pm: Doorbell rings – collect food from kind delivery person.

7.46pm: Eat food.

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