Right now my youngest son is sitting at the dinner table, being bribed with videos of airplanes in the hopes that he’ll finish eating his dinner. It’s 8:25 pm. 25 minutes past his bedtime. I left dinner about 30 minutes ago in a huff because there was no way I could manage sitting at the table any longer without potentially harming someone with a zucchini. I can’t stand it any more. The begging and pleading. The cajoling. It’s so un-pleasurable for me that I’d actually rather not even eat. As much as I adore the idea of a family table, and we have all eaten almost every meal together since my kids were born, I think that I’m starting to understand the logic of kids eating first. Or me eating in a restaurant. With a glass of wine. And adults. Who don’t whine constantly about the food you’ve cooked for them. I’ve made threats about starving kids in Africa. I’ve pleaded. I’ve been nice. And I’ve been mean. And now I’ve given up. You see, it completely lacks enjoyment to cook for people who are going to complain about everything you make. There’s no pleasure in that. My food tastes of this lack of pleasure. Every bite reflects it. So on Thursday I have a chef coming in for an interview. I’m not joking. Because I figure at least then I’ll still love my kids when they’re thirteen. And nobody will end up in psychotherapy for having a zucchini stuffed up their nose.