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Whenever I say, out of old habit, that I LOVE food, I feel like a fraud.

With the way my typical meals go, I feel quite opposite about eating. Eating is an endurance sport that has to happen two-times a day for at least 90 minutes long each time, whether I feel like it or not.

It starts with a question: What am I going to feed Hayden?

Is it ’Egg Day’? No. Had that yesterday.

Pasta? What shape? Shape matters. What sauce? Sauce matters.

Don’t like cheese. Don’t like pizzas. Don’t like meat. Don’t like burgers.

Don’t like the same thing twice in a row.

Quesadilla is only welcomed once in a while. “Has it been 2 weeks?”

Is it time for rice? Had that last night, which means tomorrow is OK. Mental note to set up the rice cooker in the morning.

That’s planning.

The execution requires cooking as well as a confident know-how of defending for yourself without harming your opponent. Ever had your pants pulled down while manning a hot stove? Some sexiness could have been felt if not for the relentless screams of “Mommy! Come now! Mommy! Stop!”

And the whole time you are thinking: All these is probably a waste of time anyway.

Will he get in “the chair” willingly? Or it requires a wrestling match which can evolve into a meltdown.

Then comes the actual consumption.

Watching your carefully calibrated food, nutritionally, ergonomically, and aesthetically, being refused, spat out, rubbed into hair, neck, palms, nooks and crannies of the high chair or thrown down onto the floor either intentionally or unintentionally, is … deflating, to put it mildly.

Once in a while however, two disasters in any home-entertaining handbook can produce the most unexpected outcome and that gives you hope.

Last night, due to a miscommunication on ‘dates’, our dinner guests didn’t show up. Hayden, having had too much fun playing with dry beans, refused to get into his high chair and descended into a total meltdown.

William and I retreated to the backyard for a glass of 2003 Copain Gary’s Vineyard Syrah. After putting Hayden in his room for a 30 minutes timeout, we enjoyed a rare meal at home with just two of us. And eating, for those 30 minutes, was not to be endured but to be savored again.

If only the background noise could be turned down a bit.

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