A Tale of Two Kitchens

Real Parenting

It was a vegan diet. It was an omnivore diet.

My kitchen stood divided.

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My daughter and I are vegans and my son is a omnivore. I am the cook. Typically this translates into preparing two different meals, for two different cultures. I feel as though I’m living in the Gaza Strip. This is a typical “family dinner.”

I place the plates on the table. My daughter and I get veggie stir-fry while my son has steak, mashed white potatoes—he only eats sweet potatoes or yams if there are 2 inches of marshmallows baked on top and then it’s only the part of the potato that has marshmallow stuck to it –and select veggies from the stir-fry

We sit down and say grace. Then our family dinner turns into a battlefield.

My daughter launches the first submarine. “I don’t understand how you eat flesh.”

Me, playing my part as Henry Kissinger: “Alright let’s support his choice and not criticize.”

Incoming…Daughter launches a scud: “You shouldn’t feed him that sh*t. He’s going to get cancer.”

My Son tries to retreat from the battle: “I’m going to eat in my room.”

Me, the peacemaker: “Please don’t. Let’s make pleasant dinner conversation.”

Letting off some poison gas, daughter: “Don’t expect me to send flowers to your funeral.”

And then my son drops the nuclear bomb. Son: “At least I’m not fat!”

(Now my daughter isn’t fat, if anything she’s underweight but my son goes for the jugular and hits hard. He knows what buttons to push.)

Daughter: “Are you going to let him get away with that?”

The warring sides retreat from the battlefield, with their dinner plates in hand leaving me in the war zone loading the dishwasher to the sound of doors slamming. Yet another failed peace proposal, another “family meal.”

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