Frozen (froh-zuh n) meatballs and tomato (tuh-mey-toh) sauce

I did a lot of things wrong this particular evening. But first, lets start with the right. I picked up Jenson from daycare, came home and immediately assessed my fridge for dinner ideas and it was pretty uninspiring. Read: condiments, a half-eaten pouch and a lonely bottle of O'Doul's as there always seems to be pregnant people in my house these days. I then went to the freezer and fished through the mounds of stuffed chicken kievs sent by my adorable (and the light of my life) grandparents....but there is only so much stuffed  chicken one can consume in a week that legit has 53 ingredients listed on the back of the container. And when it's cooked, I can only  account for four of those ingredients.....I just didn't have it in me this night. 

So I was thrilled when I saw a frozen container of homemade tomato sauce and leftover meatballs from when we had to bring food to Jenson's Chinese New Year school celebration. Note: Meatball night was one of those nights where I started chastising myself for not signing up for bringing the "paper goods" but mom guilt racked me because I couldn't attend the party so I thought meatballs from scratch would assuage it. And I will be kind of did. In a span of five short minutes dinner went from a mustard-soaked O'Doul's main to a totally legitimate homemade pasta meal. High five to ME! 

This is right about where it turned a bit bad. My son is obsessed with a cartoon called Paw Patrol and I find when Olly is not around during week nights, I sometimes use it as a babysitter so I can do things around the house. On its face, not a big deal every now and then....but lately I find myself doing it more and more. When he started fussing and the episode was over (and I wasn't done making dinner) I couldn't bring myself to replay the show so I did what any ace parent would do. I sat him down in front of my computer and put on truck videos on YouTube. Why not replace one bad habit with another? When dinner was finally done, I envisioned us having a nice, fun and relaxing dinner together. And it started off as so! He was sharing his food with me, eating the meatballs, eating some salad and cheers*ing his water with my Snapple....and then it went downhill all very quickly.  

That Snapple bottle did something to Jenson and he immediately started wailing when I refused to hand over my Diet Lemon Snapple. Now I'm pretty sure diet anything is bad for a toddler but it was a long day and I had a long night ahead of me and I just wanted him to stop I grabbed his sippy cup and poured my tea into it. I figured there were far less chemicals in this than some of that stuffed chicken he's had in the past week so I didn't dwell on it. But we never really got back to that calm place after Snapplegate. Then came the throwing of his sippy cup on the ground....on his plate...pouring my tea (that I begrudgingly shared) over his bowtie noodles and then the rejection of my amazing meal I made for him. Nevermind that I had barely touched my own meal. And now I remember why Olly and I wait until he's in bed to eat our dinner...

Then the kicker. He starts saying on repeat "pouch, pouch, pouch," and pointing frantically at the cabinet where we keep them. May I add this was also another thing I swore up and down that I would never do before I actually became a parent... give my kid pouches of food. And I definitely swore I would never give them pouches AT HOME DURING dinner? It goes against everything. But the next thing I knew I was staring at him while he was downing a pouch and I was picking at my cold dinner. But it was quiet...and peaceful and calm.  So while the night had some wrong it ultimately did have a lot of right. If anything, it was another reminder that as parents we're all just doing our best and at the end of the day some YouYube, a little dinner TV and a pouch full of plums isn't going to hurt anyone. But sharing my Snapple will most definitely not be happening again. That is fighting grounds in my book.

LOCATION: Home, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn