I have caved. We are having bangers and mash for dinner. The kids win, I am forfeiting this round.
Most of the time, my cooking is a bit ad hoc. I make things up on the spot. I invent a new recipes to use up things in the pantry. I don't use recipe books. So most of the time, my cooking is a massive jumbalaya, full of random ingredients, saucy, spicy and filling. Sometimes we have wraps, sometimes we have pasta, sometimes we have rice, but there are always vegetables and lots of them. It's cheap, economical, healthy and yummy.
Also, I think I have been blessed with a daughter who will try and eat everything. Until recently, I also attributed this to my amazing parenting. Who wouldn't? But now I know I have been blessed. Ava eats sushi, fruit, vegetables, sandwiches, lasagne, meat, chickpeas and lentils. She has eaten more cuisines in 3 years than I ate before my 21st birthday. There are actually only 2 things I am aware that she genuinely doesn't like, and that is tinned tuna and salad.
However, His Majesty's daughter, despite being equally well parented, will not even entertain the thought of eating something she doesn't recognise. The things she WILL eat, I can probably count on one hand. Bangers, Mash, Broccoli, Cake. Yep, one hand.
So, nights have been a battle of wills. Cutting it into fancy shapes? Nope. Yogo sitting right in front of her plate? Nope. The threat of her being hungry? Nothing will sway her, she will not eat it.
And, so I give in, I do not want to play this game tonight, I don't want the stress, I don't want the aggravation, I am sick of tears (mostly mine) and I am sick of feeling like I am failing.
Yet again, I have been brought down off my high horse, and to all the parents who have served bangers and mash because it is easy, and it will be eaten, and you know that you will have a full, content child, rather than a stubborn, hungry and angry child, I am sorry.
I guess the biggest surprise about my parenting has been how parenting challenges my preconceived notions about parenting, or something like that. In many ways, I am not the parent I envisaged before I had Ava. I yell too much. I have snapped and smacked my daughter, hard. I have had moments that I am not proud of, where I haven't been bigger, stronger, wiser or kinder.
However, I will never shun or be afraid of showing and telling my family members that they are loved, no matter who is watching or what they think. I will always tell the truth, and I respect my daughter and His Majesty's daughter and who they are as individuals. And tonight, I am fully aware that the last few nights dinners have been stressful, and not fun at all.
So tonight, I am serving Bangers and Mash with Broccoli and Garlic Bread, we are having a nice warm bath and then we are going into the play room to build the biggest cubby house out of every pillow, blanket and chair I can find.