Pot Pie of Despair


Chicken, kale, sage and butternut squash with a shiny, flaky crust baked on top.  Warm, filling, healthy, satisfying, autumnal, agony.

As a beloved reader of BPS you know that I’m just waiting for the day when we consume all the calories and nutrients we need in a pill and get on with our lives.  Until then however – especially since moving to Montreal – I have reluctantly assumed responsibility for getting dinner on the table.  Kris just works too late and if I don’t do something the kids eat by themselves while the two of us inhale take-out at 9:00pm.  So the other day I made this pot pie.  Isn’t it beautiful?  That is some Instagram shit right there.

Our dinner rule is that, with a new dish, you are served what everyone else eats.  You take two bites and opt for A) thanking the chef but declining another bite and asking politely for something else or B) thanking the chef and continue to enjoy what you just tried.  Kris and I model this behavior.  You just have to try this something new.  And then be kind.  That’s it.  Yes, I will get up and make you an almond butter and jelly sandwich.  Yes, you can now have a cheese quesadilla.  Thank you for trying and using your kind manners.

That never happens.  Never.  The sobbing and spitting and gagging that ignites the yelling and punishing and screaming — and in the case of this particular pot pie, my own crying — that’s what happens instead.  For me, this pot pie became the symbol of the total disregard for all my work – work I don’t even want to do – and I had had enough.  I lashed out.  Appetite for destruction.  But this is not a post about my son’s food aversions or table behavior because believe it or not, I don’t hold him responsible.  No, this is a post about exclusive breastfeeding (or EBF).

From their moment of birth, both of my kids ate what they wanted when they wanted, as much as they wanted. (Farrah Star still nurses).  That’s EBF and ain’t it great?  Exclusive Breastfeeding is the single best thing I have done for my children and it is the greatest mothering tool I possess, but let me repeat something:

From birth, my kids ate
what they wanted
when they wanted
and as much as they wanted.

And now we make them eat
what we want
when we want
and as much as we tell them.

“And ain’t that a bunch of bullshit?”  says my five-year-old in the only way he’s able to communicate it.

As a result of EBF, my children have never had to eat anything.  There is no “well-you’d-better-eat-this-or-you’ll-get-nothing”.  The milk always flows.  The spigot is always on.  Your food; your terms.  While both Kris and I strongly believe in casting a wide culinary net, I am done crying at the dinner table and I am done forcing food on my kids.  I’ve come to terms.We will have a happy dinner table.  I will continue to offer and model curiosity at mealtimes but that’s where it ends for me.  My time in the kitchen may get longer but the bed I made just got warmer.


Cheesy Enchilada Rice of Contentment. For two.

If you like this post, please share by clicking one of the options below.  I have plenty of leftovers.




5 thoughts on “Pot Pie of Despair

  1. This sounds similar to my dinner table. I always make gourmet food for Trevor and I and the kids end up eating hotdogs quesadillas noodles etc. At least try to get them to have a little bit of remotely something healthy. I think a little short term peace with good modeling will help us get good results in the long run. I hope so


  2. Oh, you just made me laugh until I cried. I’ve tried to foist healthy versions of good old fashioned comfort food on my family until my husband begged me to stop. My kids will eat veggies and salad with every meal, but why mashed cauliflower instead of potatoes, and when did butter or flavor become the enemy? So – dinner is much more pleasant! Bravo to you!


  3. LOL I wish I would keep me mouth shut.   She still doesn’t eat a wide variety of stuff. Last night she announced she was having a ‘water dinner’ (because she didn’t like what we were having) and just waited for the birthday cupcakes. Our only rule is she have to come to the dinner table and chat with us for a minute and then she can leave. The foods she prefers are interesting and the other night she said to me dead serious ‘vegetables are not my favorite’. I smiled and said ‘I know’ and she launched into a whole diatribe on why they aren’t her favorite. (sigh) Trying to trust she is getting all her needs met by chicken, Lara bars, bacon, pancakes, OJ, popcorn…you get the picture. Love this post, Lisa! Vanessa


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