Second Dinner

Family dinners on television always look so serene. The kids gather 'round excitedly, the plates all match, the table is set and a perfectly cooked roast graces the center of the table. Everyone is smiling and happy, gratefully partaking in a wonderful meal together.

Now to real life.

The kids have to be called to the table numerous times and after pulling themselves away from their toys/TV reluctantly come to the table. They ask "what's that?" when they see the failed Pinterest turkey, corn, rice bake disaster in the middle of the table and dad shushes them so mom doesn't start making vodka sodas to deal with her recipe disaster. The kids whine throughout the meal and have to be threatened to complete 1/2 of their plates. Mom spends the meal telling everyone they're not getting dessert (even though she didn't make dessert) while also getting covered in rice cereal from the infant in her lap who also won't eat.

What is second dinner?

Second Dinner is the relaxed, happy, carefree meal that parents eat after their children are safely unconscious in their bedrooms for the night. Sometimes it is fancy like Thai takeout. Other times it's pizza delivery. The budget conscious get creative in the kitchen making anything from peanut butter and jelly to just indulging in nachos or their kid's cereal.

Second Dinner is important because it's a meal that can be eaten in peace. No threatening or bribing. No whining. No cutting up meat for people who should know how to use a freaking table knife. No trying to force another spoonful of puree into a baby's mouth. Just you. And your delicious Hot Pockets.

Most parents have a system by which they acquire or prepare second dinner. There is a usually a designated lookout. This person's responsibility is to make sure children to not hear, smell or become aware in any way of the food. If a child wanders downstairs, it is this parent who will signal to the other to throw a blanket over the caramel corn or a newspaper over the tacos.

Second Dinner is by far the most delicious meal of the day. It is consumed in silence and depending on its contents may be followed with feelings of shame, but we love it. We need it.

Second Dinner, we like you.

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  1. Our second dinner consists fresh-baked cookies... from a tub of Sams club cookie dough. Every single night.

  2. Second dinner will be a forgotten granola bar and some croutons, but it will be eaten while sitting in front of the TV.

    It will not involve yelling at some to get off the table or stop jumping in their chair or spilling their drink or pouring out a bottle of water do they can jump in muddy puddles. I could go on, but it makes my head hurt to relive dinner.

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