Sophi call me "Dab." She can say "Daddy," but can't seem to put the "d" sound on the end of a word. This morning she sees me stumble into the kitchen to make seven lunches for our fantastic kids. "Dab?" she hollers out. "Yes?" I respond. "Morning, Dab." She truly is amazing, just the way she is:)
I grew up in a family where if you were served food, you ate it. Period. With a smile on your face and gratitude in your heart. (And for the record, that would still be my policy, if it were mine to make.) Christi grew up in a home where if you had different taste preferences, the head chef would make something different for you. (Which, for the record, is a very loving way to cook for your kids.) Early in our marriage, I tried to curb Christi's tendency to cater to the individual culinary appetites of our individual children. We had some "discussions" on this topic. I finally came to the realization that if someone is willing to cook 99% of the meals for me and my family, I better shut my mouth and let her cook whatever she wants for whomever she wants. (This is similar to the realization I came to that if someone is going to do my laundry, I better not complain that the shirts are hung up facing left instead of right. But I digress.) I will say that on the rare occasion that I do cook, the kids know that they will eat what is served to them. Period. With a smile on their face. Chili and pears from a can are AWESOME. Now eat!!! Actually, I've become a bit of a softie myself. For example, when I make mac and cheese, I will hold out some of the macaroni before I add the cheese. This is for Jesi, who likes it with spaghetti sauce. Anyway, you get the idea.
So when making lunches for seven kids who are used to being served foods that they personally prefer, there are a lot of things to remember. Graci won't eat chocolate. Jesi will only accept a half a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch. No tuna. No turkey. No peanut butter and honey. And it has to be seedless jelly. Grape is best. Taylor prefers white bread for his sandwiches. Unless it's tuna. Then he prefers wheat. And the tuna has to made with fat free Thousand Island dressing. Not mayo. Graci prefers turkey, but will eat peanut butter and jelly. Especially if it's raspberry jam. But if you put it on wheat bread, she will only take about one bite of it. Parker wants ranch on both sides of his Turkey sandwich along with cheese, lettuce, tomato and pickles. Taylor wants turkey AND ham (two slices of turkey, one of ham) with mustard on both sides, cheese and lettuce. NO TOMATO! Graci only wants a little ranch on one side, lettuce and cheese. Taylor prefers plain old traditional potato chips. No Doritos, Fritos, Cheetos, sour cream and onion or barbecue for him. He will settle for Sun Chips if that's all there is. Graci prefers Cool Ranch Doritos, Cheetos, Regular Doritos and Sun Chips. In that order. Elli will only eat a sandwich if it the second Tuesday after the full moon. Chips are the third Friday. She does better with a granola bar and pretzels. Got all that and have an hour a day to spare? You're hired!!!