I like to think of myself as a reasonably good cook but lately, maybe because it's February, there are always at least two kids walking right up to the Complaining Line, if not actually crossing over it.
Our kids aren't allowed to say anything negative at meal times about the food. They can express preferences at other times. Like in the parish hall of the church to their friends they can say insane things like "I don't like bacon". Hey, your dislike of bacon is objectively wrong but you're welcome to be stupid. When you come to the table, however, you get to leave your negativity over there, far away from me the cook. If you have bacon on your plate and you don't like bacon, you have to eat it with a smile on your face. You don't have to say you like it, but you can't complain. If you work yourself into a froth and and actually throw up, you're in a world of hurt. And I don't mean that metaphorically.
So they've gotten creative in their effort to let us know how they feel about the food.
"I really love this," someone will say, "I'd really like to save it and eat it on another day."
"My favorite food is just like pasta only it looks more like rice."
Stuff like that.
Of course, with your sixth child you have had your will beaten out do you and so that child will say "I don't Wanna eat this!" and run away fast while you pour yourself another glass of wine and decide you don't care anymore.
So I was really surprised when all the dinner was eaten by everyone last night without any veiled complaining and no one pushing the food around into little piles and getting thirty cups of water. I mushed some ground beef in a pan with onion, garlic, green pepper and carrot and then Matt did something to it to make it taste like tacos. Then we shoved it in 56 cent Aldi taco shells with cheese and lettuce and it was all gone. Too bad when I sweat and slave and fuss it's apparently "just as delicious as all your other food, I just love all that other food better".