“The kids need to eat at six,” she would say, “So I always tell Robert that if he isn’t in the door by the time we sit down, his plate will be in the microwave.”When I was growing up, my best friend’s mom used to roll her eyes a bit (good-naturedly, of course) at my family’s dinner habits. Why? Because we waited for my father to get home from work before we ate. My best friend’s mom, Mrs. T, like most parents, fed her kids at 6 p.m. on the dot.
To me, the child of a family whose dinner hour was as established as a pile of quicksand, this seemed like a great policy. My mother swears we didn’t start waiting for my dad to come home to start dinner until my sister and I were old enough to hold out until 7:30, so I’ll take her word for it. But when I had my own kids and started listening to other moms discuss the gyrations they put themselves (and their kids) through in order to have dinner at an hour when everyone (read: Dad) was home, it quite frankly made me question their sanity.