During my tenure as a Domestic God, I have more or less taken over the dinner reigns at our house. Usually, it’s not such a bad proposition. And actually, I have found some pretty tasty, really easy meals that seem to dazzle my better half. As for our sons, “Colton”(age 8) and “Little Rusty” (age 5), it’s been a bit more challenging.
My wife and I are extremely fortunate that our oldest son, Colton is a great eater–and will try and enjoy about any dish put before him. The kid eats tomatoes like apples and has been an Asian cuisine connisuer since he was 15 months old. ”Little Rusty” is the exact opposite. He is fickle as all shit and barely eats. The best pop culture comaparison I have to him is “Randy” from “A Christmas Story”. You remember “Randy” don’t you? “Every household has a kid that won’t eat….meat loaf, meat loaf, double beat loaf, I hate meat loaf!”. Our Rusty is rail thin and with his diet he should remain as such for his whole life.
This dining dichotomy poses problems at just about every single meal. Of course, McDonald’s doesn’t apply to this almost daily situation–those two are in 100% agreement that Happy Meals rule. Anyway, almost invariably I end up bregrudgingly making an extra meal. I realize that this is the wrong thing to do as a parent and my own Mother would call me a complete pussy for bending to the ridiculous demands of my spawn–but franky, I worry that Rusty would never eat and end up on late night cable with Sally Struthers offering him up for “sponsorship”.
Lately, this Domestic God has become less benevloent and more of a dictator in his dinner rule. The boys were eating what my wife and I were having and/or there would be but a single choice for the two of them. This has not been the resounding success that I had hoped for. In fact, it has created a very hostile and growingly toxic dinner atmosphere amongst my sons an I. Now, instead of one always bitching–I am being tag teamed. Often, in tandem, they don’t prefer the presented option.
Over the past few days this battle between myself and my pint sized avdersaries has heated up. There’s been a lot more whining, yelling, crying, bitching and general pissy attitudes–displayed by both sides. At a point, I was worn down and decided that I had had enough. But instead of bending, and whipping up their beloved mac & cheese sprirals, I decided to go medeival on their little asses.
That’s right–GRUEL has been a mainstay in the slums of Britian since the middle ages. I mean, gruel successfully fed multitudes of dirty faced, fingerless gloved orphans right through the 19th century in England. Why wouldn’t gruel be good enough for my 21st century ingrate little runts???
My supposition was that gruel would be extremely easy to prepare. Thanks to the internet, I learned this was a correct assumption. There are far more “Gruel related” web sites than I ever could imagine. And it seems, much like their southern U.S. cousins, the “grits”–gruel has become a mainstay with the creepy medeival re-enactors. Except they like to add various meats, spices, fruits and vegetables to it–like grits.
That’s fine and dandy, but I was going old school “Oliver Twist” gruel on my spawn–Oat meal Gruel…mmmm!!! Simplicity is the name of the game with this shite (notice the Old World British cursing??). I was thrilled to see that we had all the ingredients-some oatemeal, salt, sugar, water and milk. Boil the water, add the ingredients, strain them, add a bit of milk and stir. What a delicacy!!!
I called the boys for their dinner. Colton was truly unimpressed by the gruel and expressed a willingness to work with me on achieving a better dinner time attitude. (Translated–he wouldn’t act like a dick if he didn’t get the meal of his choice.) Of course, Little Rusty actually liked this puke! He lapped the shite up like he were on his way to the death chamber. This Domestic God had to travel to Medevial England to find something Rusty actually liked to eat! I simply can not win. Now I have to make gruel “special” for this kid once a week.