One of the more fun moments of being a parent is dinner time – said no parent, ever.
Yes, feeding a family sounds relatively straightforward, and yet is often a time of tears and tantrums, because it seems to be a principle of parenthood that the more effort you put into a meal, the less likely it is that your children will enjoy it.
This was definitely the experience of one father, who was so frustrated by the cycle of cooking dinner and rejection he was experiencing every night, that he was forced to devise an ingenious plan: he retired from cooking.
Reddit user BabyHooey posted about his decision recently, in a thread called “I just retired from cooking: Night One.” Explaining that he has four kids, ranging from 10 to 16 years old, the father said he felt he’d been left with little option but to ‘quit’ cooking.
“There are literally no meals left that I can make without someone complaining,” he wrote.
Bec Sparrow offers advice to a teenaged-girl who doesn’t like her mum’s cooking. Post continues after.
“Spaghetti? I make my sauce with Italian sausage and one kid has decided she hates fennel. One kid has celiac, which rules out wheat (obviously not her fault) so that makes it harder. One kid hates cheese, which rules out a lot of things. One kid hates chicken. We were safe for a while with tacos until one kid decided she was never eating tacos again.”
One evening, BabyHooey decided that he was in a no-win situation, so he stocked up the pantry and fridge, and announced that everyone had to fend for themselves. Later on in the Reddit thread, the dad gave readers an update, reporting that after two weeks of the family sustaining themselves with sandwiches and cereal, he decided he’d cook for himself and his wife… and a strange thing happened.
The kids became interested in his cooking again.
One night, one child said to the dad, “That smells really good, can I have some?”
BabyHooey’s response? Well, he remained firm in his approach.
“I said that I only made enough for the two of us, but if they’d like some of tomorrow’s dinner, let me know and I can make extra. I was expecting, ‘What’s tomorrow’s dinner?’ But instead I got, ‘Yes, please, anything’s better than more sandwiches.’
“All of them eventually followed suit. I’m back to cooking for six, but I’m making whatever I want to make.”
And the kids are eating without complaint.