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How does your evening go? (Dinner Time)

618 Views 8 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Vicitoria
Hi there!
My dd is 18 months and the dinner hour is a bit nightmarish at the moment. i typically feed her around 5 ish (she gets hungry and cranky if not). then dh gets home around 6 ish so we have our "grown up dinner" at 6:30 ish. DD tends to then totally lose it at this point, start screaming and fussing and demanding to nurse. We try putting her in her booster seat and giving her some of our dinner which usually works for a few seconds but then she always loses it. After dinner she is totally fine, happy and plays til bedtime at 8ish. Its just while we are sitting and eating she freaks. We tried a movie for her *blush* but not interested.
Note she is fine sitting together at breaky or lunch. I guess she is just tired at dinner time. but not tired enough to go to bed or anything.

How do other people's evenings go with a toddler??? specifically dinner-ish time.
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Sometimes dinnertime is horrible, sometimes it's totally fine. (my dd is 2 1/2 btw) There are some nights when it seems the idea of everyone sitting down and eating is just totally unbearable to her. So we generally just tell her that it's time to eat, and if she doesn't want to sit and eat that's okay, but mommy and daddy are going to eat. We show her the clock and explain that when the hand moves from 3 down to 5 we'll be done (she gets the concept). Then one of us usually tries to hurry up and finish eating so the meltdown doesn't last too long.

I figure it's a bit of a phase, and I know for us that it's more of an issue if she's tired, or needing to poop, or if there's something else going on, like teething.
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I feed B early. Like, 4:30pm. I usually feed the rest of the crew a snack about then, and when my husband gets home at 6ish we sit down to eat our supper. The baby will come sit and eat again with us then (a small amount, but enough to let us eat).

I think by feeding him earlier, he gets hungry for a snack when we eat, thereby avoiding meltdown phase.
Hmm. 4:30 pm -- Bach's remedy for me while I'm trying to make my 2 1/2 year old twins something that they will eat.

5:00 - after having two toddlers hanging on my legs for 30 minutes and demanding to "help" with boiling water and sharp knives, they get into their chairs to eat while I sit with them and have a glass of wine (b/c the Bach's didn't do a thing for my nerves). I then get up from the table approximately 50 times to meet their additional dining requests.

DH arrives home around 6:30. I regroup for a few minutes and attempt to make dinner for dh and I until I'm "on" again at 7:30 for stories and bedtime.

9:00 pm -- dh has eaten while I was nursing the twins to sleep. I stumble downstairs, eat my dinner and wonder how I will ever find the energy to make it back upstairs to go to bed.

Obviously, this was a bit tongue and cheek, but I just wanted you to know that there are others who find this to be an incredibly challenging time of day.
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We usually eat around 5-5:30. My DH works from home so he's always here.
DD usually helps me cook dinner. (She's 2 1/2 btw) That's one of our "fun" things to do toegether.
Then I get it on the table and we all eat together. I must say we really don't have problems @ dinner time. I mean, occasionally DD won't wanna finish her food or something like that but w/ some convincing she always does and I'm a true believer that children don't learn what you tell them, they learn what you show them. If DD sees mommy n daddy eating and enjoying our food then she's more apt to eat and enjoy hers.
I really enjoy dinner time. Just the concept of the family sitting down together talking, eating, enjoying eachother..I just love.
After I clean up the kitchen DD and I usually have more activity time. Right now we're mainly focused on flashcards and drawing.

Bedtime is 9pm. Sometimes it'll be a little before if she wants but other than that it's always 9pm. (yes, she actually says, "come on mommy..time to go to bed." It's cute
) We get cleaned up, teeth brushed, jammies on and read our books. We read at least 4 at bedtime. I usually tell her to pick out 4 books. We read then I shut off the light (she has a nightlight), I rub her back for a few minutes and then kiss her goodnight!
We rarely have problems @ bedtime either.
I'm just amazed everyday at her ablilities. It's quite astonishing. She just understands and knows SOO much for her age. She truely is a gift from God!
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Thanks everyone for your replies. I wish DH and I could eat earlier together, on the rare occasions we do it usually goes fine. It's that 6:30-7 time that is nightmarish. i really need to get out the crockpot again, so dinner is easy enough to just plop into a bowl and go. no matter what though she wants out of her seat and to nurse while i eat. sometimes that is fine but with something like soup not a good plan.
Like other posters have said, that 6:30-7:00 timeslot is sometimes meltdown city! I don't know what it is. There are some nights when I'm just trying my hardest to get down a few bites when my 3 yr. DD is climbing on me and begging me to put her pjs on. So, I stop eating, (my 18 mos. old is always happily eating and ignoring everything, btw ... different temperment!), she gets undressed, I get her night-time dipe on, she puts "cozy cream" all over her body (Badger Sleep Balm, she loves it!), pjs on, and teeth brushed. Then, she suddenly gets happy and runs around looking for books to read and animals to snuggle with for the next 30 minutes or so until I bring her upstairs. It's the craziest thing. As long as she's "ready for bed", she's happy! Then, I clean up dd2 and get her ready for bed while dd1 is getting out her last spurt of energy. I've actually lost some weight over the past month because lately, I haven't been able to finish my dinner! LOL

So, I tried something recenty ... getting dinner ready an hour early, everyone eating earlier, but it was the same thing all over again! I just don't get it? She's with me all day, so it's not like she's starved for my attention. I'm thinking though, that she wants to get to me first for the bedtime stuff before her little sister gets me. She'll freak out if we happen to have a nice quiet meal and then I'm getting her sister ready for bed before her. It's like sometimes she "forgets" to meltdown during dinner! Children are very funny. They're on their own little agendas all the time. I'm sure dinner will always be somewhat nutty as long as they're living with us, just for different reasons!

Ladybug Mama to two beautiful girls, (3 yrs. & 18 mos.), and wife to crazy freefalling DH.
Seasons of Cosleeping:
dd1, after dd2, then me with both, now me with dd2 and dh with dd1
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I give DD/23mo her dinner around 4:30-5:00 (on the early side) and then when the rest of us sit down to eat around 7:00 she is ready for a snack. I try to make it a highly valued snack. In our case yogurt does the trick almost every time. If she doesn't finish eating it, she will happily "paint" with it for a while. And it's right before bath time, so she can make as much of a mess as she wants and then it's into the tub right after we finish eating.
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You know, today I realized I've just let it all go. I just go with whatever DS is up to which is usually within reason and go with it. We didn't take a nap today but we slept until 9. He eats at the table or he doesn't. No pressure. I just feed him when he's hungry. I think I could put food in front of him and unless I actually put it in his mouth it would just sit there.

dinner? sometimes dh is home early, sometimes he is home late. I try to keep ds up until daddy comes home. then - he takes care of it.

Bedtime routine? Well, we go to bed. He drinks milk, we listen to music or stories on CD. Who made this rule that you have to read to your child before they go to bed? I read to him throughout the day. Everytime I can't find him he's in the corner pulling his books off the shelf looking through them.

We moved to Germany 4 months ago. Tomorrow will be the second mom's and tot's gathering I've been to in 4 months. I've actually got 2 of them. I'm interested to see how it is, Germany is so laid back when it comes to kids, they go to Kindergarden and just play for 3 years. They don't learn the alphabet or reading until they start 1st grade. I feel like this huge weight has been lifted. My son and I have seriously bonded together (FINALLY). I read emails or remember my moms group in the states and they are talking about potty training and words and what their kids can do. (He can recite the alphabet - well, every other letter - We sing the song so often...) Blah blah blah

One the other hand - if Dh wants to go out for dinner and I know DS is in a mood or hasn't slept enough it is a living h&*(. It's just not worth it. THere will be other times to eat out. Other times for stories and schedules and musts and shoulds.)
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