Family Dinners – False Advertising?

I want to live in a TV commercial…

Just once I would like the family to sit down to dinner together without someone, not necessarily one of the kids, whining: “What’s this? I don’t like it” about the food on offer.

On TV ads everyone is excited about the meal the mother/wife has placed on the table. They’re already seated, waiting, with happy expectant faces.

My family have to be hunted down, and driven like lambs to the slaughter to the dinner table. Then the complaining starts. Both kids want a permanent embargo placed on any food that is green. Or new on the menu. They have declared that it’s “child abuse” when I insist that they have at least have a taste.

If I can actually manage to get them together at the table at the same time – it’s a good night.

To have them eat the same meal is an altogether different challenge.
Each one has their own food fetish. My daughter won’t eat cooked vegetables while my son’s only culinary aspiration is to be served sausages at each and every meal.

Have you noticed that in TV commercials everyone is dressed neatly and nicely? There’s no-one wearing a ratty fairy outfit or a filthy footy jumper at THEIR dinner table. And never, ever, does a telemarketer call in the middle of a meal to try and convince you to change mobile carrier.

At our house the TV is blaring in the other room so they can hear it while they eat and not actually have to talk to one another. Well, that’s a lie, they do argue over who got the smallest serving of those “gross things” (peas). And although they can’t see the television they are still fighting over the channel selection while my husband endlessly proclaims to an increasingly unheeding audience that he needs to listen to the news for work.

Just once I’d like to enjoy a family meal amid civilised conversation. So one night I simply turned off the TV and announced amid mournful groans that we were going to have a nice family dinner and each member of the family could chat about something that interested them.

Sounds just like a TV commercial doesn’t it? All that caring and sharing.

Well, not in my house. What I got instead was each one, including the father of the other two, trying to top the others with the worst, most gruesome stories that they could think of, involving bizarre methods of dying. The more blood-curdling, the more they relished it.

So I gave up and turned the television back on… Even the news was less bloodthirsty than my mob.


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