Monday, November 22, 2010

Why All the Fuss?

Over at Jess Miss Placed Le Chef blogs about the trials and tribulations of being an overweight mother whose comfort zone is directly related to her husband's largess (An Assumption of Dumplings and Expensive Pork Products). Tonight the disgruntled walrus must prepare dinner and doesn't feel she's up to it (for whatever reason). Le Chef surfs the Internet until she finds what she believes to be a suitable recipe provided by Better Homes and Gardens, a publication I have little experience with. You can check out the recipe here if you like. I did, and I can say with assurance that you could not pay me enough money to cook this bizarre concoction let alone serve it to anyone – friends, family or not. Dispensing with all that for the moment, Le Chef has a large gap in her logic. Fixing an odd and somewhat complex dinner for the tribe. Why all the bother?

If you're feeding kids, you are essentially slopping the hogs - except the hogs are as picky and persnickety about the stuff on the table as a Persian cat with an attitude that needs adjusting. The real solution is to buy a few cans of the kid's favorite slop and serve it up in front of the TV. They'll be quiet and content for a while, at least until the sibling rivalry starts. This is to be expected and rather than waste time on enforcement of a noise level regulation, you should take advantage of the distraction and use it as a part of your current behavioral modification program.

It is a fallacy that children are inherently good. Men, being men, know this as truth about male children. Certain men have a blind spot where female children are concerned, but fortunately women do not. If you are going to have civilized children in your home and attached to you in public, you must train them yourself. Observe that meal time provides you with a nice opportunity to work on any behavioral modifications you're concentrating on just now. Rewards in the form of food, TV and  the entertainment siblings and peers invariably find by observing a fellow sibling being disciplined are all easily available. Remember that positive reinforcement is much more effective than punishment for some infraction. For instance, if little Susie loses her temper because the world doesn't conform to her expectations and begins shrieking like a cheap smoke alarm, remove a potion of her Spaghetti Os because of her failure to use an indoor voice, not because she screams loudly enough to cause her mother to lose a filling in the lower bicuspid. Similarly, if little Jimmy places a rat trap where his younger siblings will be certain to get their toes caught in it, deprive Jimmy of TV by moving child and food to another area of the home – a detached garage works well, providing flammable liquids are secured against mischief.

The Old Man's preferences in dinner may not be far removed from the children's favorite slop. Given that Le Chef is married to this poor hump she should know all this, but it never fails to amaze me how many women do not realize that their husbands will be perfectly content with a dinner of pizza, beer and mindless sex for desert. You can always substitute hot wings for pizza, and remember that the sex does not need romance attached to it, either before or after.

So if Le Chef doesn't feel like cooking, that's fine, but why bother with some kind of elaborate camouflage job involving pork tenderloin, frozen pirogi and reduced vinegar? Slop the hogs and give the Old Man the kind of tenderloin he's been asking for.

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