Isn’t it wonderful to see your children sitting at the dinner table, enjoying a healthy meal that you’ve prepared?
No, seriously, I’m asking– because that shit never happens at my house. It seems the more time I spend in the kitchen, slaving over something I foolishly think they’re going to eat, the more they turn up their noses. They whine. They push stuff around the plate. They make retching noises when they see anything green. My considerable culinary skills are wasted on these nuggetheads. Wasted! Cooking for children is an empty, thankless task. More disturbing is the serious lack of manners when they finally do drag themselves to the table, after repeated threats gentle reminders. Asshole kids with no manners are a huge pet peeve of mine, especially out in public. My kids know better, and have been taught. They do well at restaurants because out in public when they are representing me, I put the fear of God in them with one withering look. At home, admittedly, I was tired and letting the manners slide. After watching my son standing (what’s with the standing?!) over his plate one night, shirtless, smacking food while twerking back and forth from the kitchen table to the TV room, smacking and twerking, twerking and smacking, I kinda lost my shit. “We are not white trash! Sit down!” I bellowed. They all looked at me like I had gone into mental menstruation Martha Stewart mode, but I was done. Just done. I might have gone Martha on them, but I wanted to make sure they weren’t going Cousin Eddie on me. NOT ON MY WATCH, CLARK.
|“Shitter was full!”|
I made an announcement: Effective immediately we would be implementing something I called FANCY SCHMANCY NIGHT. At least one night per month, we would eat in the actual dining room (remember that room?) as a family with the TV off, dinner music on. No electronics, no phones and no whining about what was served. We would use real plates, real napkins (on real laps) and have real conversation like civilized, decent people. Real knives and forks would be used, but not as weapons this time. We would try new foods and we would like it, goddammit.
|Fancy Schmancy night, the early years. He looks thrilled, no? Not shown: My daughter, who is hiding under the table.|
Well, they bitched, they complained, but they did it. And it was lovely. I think they may have secretly liked it– for a while. Sometimes we get all Downton Abbey and use fancy accents, holding our pinkies up while dining, because we make shit fun. Victory! I was feeling pretty damn good about myself and smugly posted about my awesome idea on Facebook. But then one night I made the grave mistake of scheduling a Fancy Schmancy dinner right when their beloved Duck Dynasty was on TV, and our worlds collided. There was much redneck butthurt throughout the land. Then came the pushback- the counterstrike. With the help of my Current Legal Spouse, the kids proposed their own theme night in protest: WHITE TRASH WEDNESDAY; A night where they eat whatever they want, in front of the TV. Sometimes in their underwear. Because, ‘MURICA.
White Trash Wednesday was born.
I was tired of fighting. I was tired of cooking. I gave up and waved the white (trash) flag. I embraced White Trash Wednesday and declared it my day of independence. It’s a day off from caring if my kids eat a nutritious, well-balanced meal. I do my best other days of the week but Wednesday, well, Wednesday there are no fucks given. I can’t. As soon as I posted about White Trash Wednesday on the RachRiot fan page and asked other mothers to join me in giving up, the response was HUGE. The confessions came pouring in, and we all laughed and said the words every parent longs to hear: “Me too!” White Trash Wednesday is a night of solidarity for parents everywhere to say, “We will do better tomorrow, but tonight, my family can suck it.” No judgement. Sometimes I throw together some boxed shit from the pantry or sometimes we eat drive-thru. Sometimes I think of a deliciously horrendous recipe from my childhood that I used to love and we have that on TV trays. Sometimes I go in my room with a glass of wine and don’t come out. Did they eat? Don’t care. It’s glorious.
My kids try to extend it to other nights, too, but I hold firm. We do this one night a week. Period. All other nights we eat at the kitchen table and I serve two choices: Eat it or Starve.
White Trash Wednesday is different things to different people, but it’s all in good fun. Occasionally I’ll get a troll comment that “neglecting your children’s health is nothing to be proud of.” And to that I say… PUH LEASE. No one is gonna starve or get the diabeetus from one night of trashy eating, so calm the fuck down, Dr. Oz– it’s going to be fine.
My kids love our theme nights. Believe it or not, they like Fancy Schmancy night just as well as White Trash Wednesday. We still do both regularly. They’ve had Coq auVin and corndogs in the same week and everyone was happy.
|I call it “SPAGHETTI-OH HELL-NOOOS”|
Parenting is hard. If you don’t have a sense of humor about it you’re gonna have a bad time. So tonight give yourself permission to drive thru Mickey D’s, or crack open a can of Spaghettios or Ramen and serve up a heaping helping of IDGAF.
It’s Wednesday somewhere.