Feed the Children

Feeding kids is a shitty task. The relationship between a parent/caregiver and mealtime is confusing and multi faceted and can’t be easily summed up to those who have never had the (ahem) pleasure of caring for kids. Comedians spend lots of time talking about feeding kids. Sometimes it’s kind of funny, even though most of the time it’s the same schlocky bullshit, regardless of how humorously the whole concept is delivered. Essentially, it goes like this: “kids don’t like to eat and they’re messy as shit and it’s infuriating.” And, well, that’s true. That’s a big part of why feeding kids sucks, but it’s not nearly the whole story. Feeding kids sucks on a deep, molecular level that teases your pleasure and relaxation sensors, makes you feel incredibly guilty, sends you into blind rages and ultimately reduces you to a simpering, teary eyed blob of defeated shit, huddled over the kitchen sink eating hotdog buns covered in jelly while a beautiful steak passes its expiration date in your fridge. The whole thing is so complex, I’m not sure I’ll even do it justice, but fuck it. I’ll try. I got nothing better to do.

So, your kid is hungry. He’s been screaming about it for a while. There are four places that you can take a kid to eat. They are 1) your house 2) some kind of picnic or lunchroom area (if you’re out somewhere), 3) a restaurant or 4) your tit. Which of these four you choose is almost always a predetermined, set-in-stone, no-choice about-it-option. If you’re out somewhere, like, say the museum or the park, and home is far away and you don’t have money to be spending on shitty fast food, you’re eating the bagged lunch you have with you. If you are by the house, or sitting in your house, you’re eating at home. If you’ve planned on eating at a restaurant or you’ve just neglected to plan, you’re eating at a restaurant and finally, if your kid is breastfeeding, you’re feeding them with your tit.

This isn’t a nebulous setup. The barge of parenthood turns slowly and short of the old “fuck it, fuck you kids! We’re going the FUCK HOME!” move that you CAN pull if you’re out somewhere (which will blow up all over you, because if they’re hungry, that car ride/train ride/Bataan death march home is gonna suck the dick off a dog), once you lock into something, you’re stuck with your choice, regardless of extenuating circumstances.

But kids are fucking stupid and they have no idea about parameters or restricted choices or any of that shit. And they definitely don’t realize how much of an ungodly pain in the ass it is to just simply navigate your way to the cafeteria room in the museum, through all the other defeated parents and obnoxious kids on field trips to the shitty bit of table in the corner of the shitty, dismal room in the basement of the fucking museum, to keep an eye on your wiggly, hungry, ingrate children in a sea of wiggly, hungry ingrate children while you dig through the unholy pile of bullshit you have with you to find the two squished peanutbutter sandwiches in the bottom of your bag only to be told “Dad, I don’t want that. I want pizza.”

Well, there’s no fucking pizza here. It’s this or nothing.

No. Pizza.

Okay. Tell you what. You find a fucking pizza and you can have it. In fact, you can eat it right off my face. How about that? Short of that, all daddy has is peanut butter sandwiches. And they’re really yummy. See, look, I’m having a bite.

The end result: Them: Hungry, shitty, resentful kids who don’t like the museum or you. You: eating squished up peanut butter sandwiches for lunch, defeated by the lack of any reward for the herculean effort you put forth packing lunch and taking kids to the fucking museum only to be reminded that you’ve fucked everything up again (this is also often when the kids start losing it, and other people [non parents, who have this shit ALL figured out] start looking at you like you’re some kind of shitty dad. All they see is a kid screaming “I’m HUNGRY!” and you, sitting there impassively, blithely eating the only sandwich that you guys have. Fuck you, other people, you will say with your eyes as you eat a sandwich in front of your crying child. HE DIDN’T WANT THE FUCKING SANDWICH. Anway….)

Or maybe you’re at a restaurant? Niiiiiice. Your kids are squirming all over the place. They’re probably eating the gum off from under the table and they’re definitely commenting on the smell in the bathroom, even though the guy who’s making the smell is still hard at work in the stall. At the very least they’re leaning over the back of the booth and really sizing up the folks adjacent to you. Also, they’re making a mess that would make the woman that works at the all night diner by the bar cringe. They order some food. The food comes. Three things are likely to happen:

1) they don’t want the food they’ve gotten. They want your food, or their sister’s food. This is the most common problem, by far. Kids are terrible at picking out the shit they want. You can tell them that they won’t like the Reuben, but if your meddling mom has already gotten it in their head that they may like a reuben (‘why the fuck are you telling him he’d like a reuben? He’s four! He’s not gonna like sauerkraut or corned beef or rye bread. What is wrong with you?’ your mom: (pissy tone, implying that YOU have no imagination or faith in your child: ‘Sorry.’), well, fuck you. You’re getting them a reuben or you’re sitting there while they scream. Never mind that all any kid eats is cereal, noodles, hot dogs, pizza, peanutbutter sandwiches, chicken nuggets, pancakes/waffles and grilled cheese (and then whatever out-there shit that they like that’s unique and weird. For my kids, it’s bleu cheese and crackers, broccoli, and cured meats). You order them a grilled cheese instead of a Reuben, they’re gonna shit a brick. (in this situation, YOU order the grilled cheese and prepare to eat whatever bizarre shit they’ve decided that they want, and then offer to trade when they don’t like it)

2) They’re gonna eat all of whatever they ordered in like 2 seconds and demand more. This will continue until you’ve spent like 20 dollars on a kid’s lunch and they’ve ordered one complete order more than they’re likely to eat. (In this situation, YOU force down the last plate of chicken fingers that they insisted on getting, or you bring them home where they languish in your refrigerator until you throw them away, since your kid will be traumatized by the memory of that time in the restaurant where he ate six plates of chicken fingers until he felt like garbage).

3) The whole thing is gonna be irrelevant because they’re gonna be behaving like such little shits that you’re gonna have to pull up stakes and head for the hills. You can’t sit in a restaurant with shitty kids. In extreme cases (like, when you’ve really misjudged the restaurant and/or your kids’ attitudes) you MAY have to just pay the check and bail without even getting your food. My kids are actually pretty good in restaurants compared to most kids their age I’ve seen and it’s still a fucking nightmare to take them out. They eat jelly packets, dip their hands in the syrup, knock water glasses over, point at the gimps at the other tables, have to poo right as the food shows up and generally, they make a huge mess and scramble my circuits, but whatever. You can ALWAYS go home from a restaurant and the restaurant cleans up, which is nice (and also why you have to tip really well if you’re a parent. You should also make an effort to clean up after yourself at least a little. Who are you, Caligula?).

But if you’re already home, what you gon’ do? Well, you have a series of choices you can make for them. If you’re like me, about every third day you become wracked with guilt about feeding your child the shit they like and you decide that ‘fuck it. Today I’m gonna make them steaks or big veggie sandwiches or a burrito or [whatever you love that’s awesome that you figure they’ll love because they’re your kids and your taste has to have rubbed off on them, right?]. But this doesn’t work at all. This makes your kids openly revolt. They hate new, weird shit. To them, the entire world is new. They need a little bit of certainty on the plate. “Fuck your steak, daddy,” they’ll tell you. “Fuck your goddamned burrito. It’s yucky. I want a jelly taco! [jelly in a hotdog bun, folks]” Mealtime at home, in theory, is a great time to get other shit done. The kids are sitting there, eating and you can do all the fun stuff you love to do like emptying the dishwasher, taking a shit, or taking down the trash. But it never is. They won’t eat. Or they will and they’re demanding more jelly tacos. Or they’re walking around smearing shit on the walls. Or the little one fell off the chair and she’s crying or the dogs ate her taco and she’s furious and the dog is barfing. Or they’re fighting or they want your food. Oh, I’m sorry. Your food? Did you just sit down to eat with them? Well, they need some water. And that patch of sticky shittiness on your kids arm is turning black with filth, so you should get a rag and wipe that shit up real quick. Your food will be manhandled and destroyed by curiosity and your legs will be strong from sitting and standing every fifteen seconds.

Yes, when they don’t eat it’s enough to make you want to cry, but it’s not even one tenth of the shitty ordeal that has taken one of the last bits of leisure time that exists in your universe (mealtime) and turned it into a high voltage shitstorm.

Oh, you’re breastfeeding? Good luck with that. But please, the stories of how your tits are uneven, your baby won’t latch, your son who’s old enough to ask for it isn’t getting enough anymore and your sore nipples, don’t ever stop telling those! They’re great. Seriously though: breastfeeding is cool, cheap and the way to go. But it’s still breastfeeding. Recognize. You know that shitting’s the healthiest way to get feces out of your body and you don’t just talk about it all the time. Oh! What? Did I just compare the miracle of feeding your young with the miracle of shitting? Well, it’s secreting shit out of your body, innit? Look, as a parent I have nothing but respect for breastfeeding women and I know, babies gotta eat when they gotta eat. Sometimes it’s rough. And sometimes yeah, you gotta say fuck it and just do it anywhere and I hate people who are anti breastfeeding as much as I used to hate people breastfeeding in public before I had kids. And being a parent is a thankless whirlwind of shit caked razorblades full of shitty stares from other people who should just mind their own fucking business and leave us to our insane frustration in peace and god damn it! I think you should go ahead and breastfeed right there at the table. I do. Go for it. No problems over here. But can you put a fucking blanket over it or something? Seriously. Your miracle is ruining the experience of my shitty lunch with my shitty kids ruining everyone else’s lunch. Fuck.

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22 Responses to Feed the Children

  1. Nico says:

    Man, this blog is really putting me off ever having kids.

    • Mp says:

      I second the above comment.

      • Holly says:

        Third. This blog makes me terrified to procreate.

        • kanthackit says:

          Haha my gf wants kids someday.. I’m gonna make her read this first.. I dunno what to think anymore.. Hahaha

          • Shaun says:

            Eh. It’s like anything else. Nobody wants to hear about the totally sweet concert you went to where you got front row center, there was no pit and the singer was totally pitch-perfect and sober.

            EVERYONE loves the story about how you were three rows back, constantly getting elbowed by some roid-jock, someone spilled their beer they brought into the pit (really, man? INTO the pit?) down your back and the lead singer whiskey-barfed into the crowd and somehow caught YOUR cheek with it.

            This is just playing to the crowd.

          • Joe says:

            A gig with no pit sounds pretty shit

  2. AD says:

    This about sums up my life. Im just glad that Im not alone.

  3. Craig Shay says:

    I could not stop laughing after the jelly taco line. I really needed a laugh, thank you.

  4. Hi says:

    I haven’t seen you do advice stuff in a while, and it seems trivial compared to the horrors of child rearing, but I have one for you. I just found out my girlfriend of 3 years kissed another guy a year ago for about 45 seconds. And to me, that’s cheating and it’s destroying me. Can I get your 2 cents on it?

    • thedollardrafts says:

      it is cheating. but why would she tell you now? the story seems too detailed to be the whole story.

      In my mind you have two choices:

      stay… if its killing you then your feelings are strong. she told you so that says something about her. the generic answer about something going on between you guys that caused her to look for satisfaction outside your relationship applies. something was up… with time it wont bother you as much because you guys will have figured out what that something was and address it and move forward as a stronger, healthier couple.

      or

      leave… which I think is really only appropriate if one or both of you refuses to address whatever it was that caused her to look around before.

      that said… if she was drunk at a party and kissed a dude and it was one time and not her typical style I say you tell her you love her and accept whatever apology she gave you.

    • Sandro says:

      I agree with the above poster. It depends on circumstances. If she was drunk and it was a one time deal, and you really think the relationship can work, then keep on truckin’. But if the circumstances were otherwise, well, the situation varies.

      Also, you say it’s destroying you inside. That’s an important thing to note. “Keep on truckin'” implies learning to live with it. Trust me, it’s fucking hard to live with. If you don’t think you can deal, then no amount of “I love you” or “We can get past this” bullshit will help. You’re screwed and you need to move on to other horizons.

      Still, if it was the drunken situation, or something else that was very one-time and totally isolated, and you have a relationship worth keeping, consider things carefully. Don’t let one mistake fuck up a truly good thing.

      Oh, and you can’t use it to guilt her. Ever. It has to be buried and gotten over, not just set aside for you to pull out every time you feel like being a little shit.

  5. xacd says:

    This. This. This. Going to a restaurant without your kids makes you feel like you just got out of jail, which is both exhilarating and fucking pathetic.

  6. devilswhisper says:

    Nice. Ya know, your wife is lucky- bcuz you get what half the nation (or more) of men dont. Just imagine all that insanity….and a cute dusty, mess of a thing that you adore, strolls on in- sweaty gross kiss… sits his cute ass on youre cute coutch and >>>>> whats for din doll ? RRRRIIIIIIPPPPP—(stink spirts) wheres the remote, (stretch), You know I dont really have a taste for that tonight…can…(oh no he didnt) we have… baby cries from two siblings in forte’….Blah Blah Blah……… Later….. honey, wheres the salt (yawn), do we have beer, got any salt for this? I’m beat, whatd you do all day…… Meanwhile, youre horns start to elongate as you start daydreaming speedily>>>>>Sooner or later your ass is gonna drift off into neverland sucka…you start thinking of duck taping him and the kids to the coutch. smack , smack of dusty hands… crack open a beer in front of them !!!! ****SIGH *****!!!!!!!! OH SNAP !!! Yeah-it’s as if youve evolved, Brendan… ROLMFAO !! He gets it !!! Lucky wife, lucky wife….***sigh***

  7. Hi says:

    I was emotionally distant for about 4 months, and she was hanging with an old friend who kissed her. But she kissed him back for 45 seconds. She said it helped her to clarify that she wanted to be with me. She told me because she always meant to tell me. It kills me because we’re explicitly monogamous and I would never cheat on her.

    • Devilswhisper says:

      Ok-first off, brendans not qite the guy you shld b askin fur advice on this, hes busy changing crap diapers and duck taping his family, lmfao.ok, so-howd you find this out? Did she tell u ? In that case, grab her by the piggy tails and dumpr ass in the garbage. Did she do it in front of you? You ass…in this case rip her lips off, then dump her in the garbGe. see where m goin here? it all depends. If she tried to hide…then she wanted him.
      🙁

      tried to hide, she wanted him….wink.

  8. Sjm says:

    my kid tonight did not want the mother of tacos tonight… imagine how hurt I was after I slaved the kitchen to make a nice meal, and he won’t eat it. In fact, threw it on the floor. (he’s still little, but still!)

  9. jake says:

    I always kinda leaned towards not having kids…now I am sure I will never reproduce…intentionally. Also, your body SEcretes saliva, but it EXcretes shit and urine. The more you know.

  10. Stirto says:

    That’s some funny shit! My son is only six months old and I can already relate to some of that. First time we went to a restaurant, he screamed for the entire meal and I had to eat standing up while holding him. This restaurant was fancy as shit, as were the customers (arseholes). Everyone just sat there, staring at me like I had my fuckin’ pants around my ankles and I wasn’t aware of it. Needless to say, my wife and I haven’t been out for a meal since. We just sit at home, watching our brand new house get covered in pureed fruit and vegetables. Still, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

  11. Jeremy says:

    Holy shit balls that was one epic rant! Check this shit out. A couple of years ago I was so distraught over failing to get healthy food down my daughters healthy-food-hole that the following seemed totally logical at the time. I took her Halloween candy and very clearly and calmly explained that she was going to start eating her dinner, which btw was fucking amazing and fit for a king, I love cooking and know that the shit I throw down on a day-to-day basis in my kitchen is damn good! Wait a second, where was I? Oh ya, my calm explanation…. start eating, or your candy gets smashed and thrown in the garbage, piece by piece, right in front of your no-dinner-eatin’ face! I’m paraphrasing a bit here. She starts asking questions, I start slowly smashing candy. She yells at me to stop, I calmly tell her to start eating. She starts crying and I smash candy faster and calmly suggest she start eating so that I can stop smashing. Then I think…. Holy shit! I’ve become the evil bad guy douche bag that everyone in the movie hates! If people were watching the movie of my life right now this would be the scene where everyone figured out what a lunatic I am. So, I politely excused myself from the table, proceeded to my room, dropped to the floor, pounded my fists on said floor and pondered weather or not I was having my first nervous breakdown as a relatively new single Dad. My daughter and I debriefed the whole incident later and decided to call it “THE EPISODE”. So funny 🙂 Thankfully this was the only time I lost my shit over dinner. It really wasn’t about dinner though. It was about me putting too much pressure on myself to perform to other peoples expectations. Now that I’ve relaxed, realized that I’m a flawed but kick-ass Dad and that I can (within reason!) run the show in my own home however I damn well please, life is so much better. And with a little advice from some wonderful and patient friends I’ve come up with my own solutions to the mealtime problem. Fabulous. Thanks for the great post. I nearly pissed myself laughing!

  12. Rachel says:

    Hey Brendan, it’s Rachel. I always stop by here and read when I’m thinking about home. This post makes me miss your kids and even the dogs. I’m thinking it was Pancho that stole the jelly taco. And this is a perfect description of mealtime at the house with those two monsters. Give them hugs from me!

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