Doing Dinner at the De Boer’s

Because Jacob works second shift, supper is my solo responsibility. The schedule looks like this: feed them, pj them, bedtime them, feed me.

Before we really get into the meat and potatoes of our dinner time routine, I have to explain the evolution of our seating arrangement. Not because it’s imperative to the story, but because it really emphasizes how you think you have a nice thing going, and then kids ruin it.

Original game plan. The two oldest sat at a kid’s table, and the baby sat in a walker. This was fine, until the baby started picking up the walker, and carrying it across the room, nearly tipping it repeatedly every meal, and swiping all the older kids’ food off the table.

Plan B. Baby in a high chair, kids still at the table. Cue baby standing on chairs between meals. Somehow we escaped a trip to the ER during these days.

Take 3. Chairs are in a closet. High chair is out. Buy TV trays for the others. BOOM. Winner.

Every night I give a rundown of meal options.

Me: Dino nuggets?

Ceci: No.

Piet: Yes!

Me: Grilled cheese?

Ceci: No.

Piet: Yes!

Me: Peanut butter sandwich?

Ceci: No.

Piet: Yes!

Me: Ok, well I guess we’ll do nuggets for Piet, and Ceci, how do Ritz crackers sound?

Ceci: Yeah, ok. But no peanut butter this time.

Me: Sorry I tried to add a little protein to your diet. My bad.

When I’m making the dinosaur chicken nuggets, I know it suggests flipping them halfway through. I don’t do that. I just make sure the slightly burned side is on the bottom when presenting them to my children.

While the nuggets are burning in the oven, I get plates out of the cupboard, and prepare the rest of the meal. I use the plates with segmented parts, because Ceci will immediately dump everything on the floor if there is any food mingling.

And what goes best with crackers? More crackers. So, I get out the Goldfish. I count out 20 for Piet(type 1 diabetic). And God forbid they have an unequal amount, which means counting out 20 for Ceci, as well.

Everyone gets a thin Oreo for 5 carbs. Once, I made the mistake of buying vanilla Oreos. Ceci showed her disapproval by throwing it on the floor, stomping on it, and smashing it into the carpet. She never broke eye contact with me, even as I yelled for her to stop.

Lastly, I squirt sugar free ketchup into one of the sections on Piet’s plate. I don’t hold back, really piling it high. He eats ketchup on pizza, so to say he is a ketchup enthusiast would be an understatement.

I throw one Skittle into the last spot on Ceci’s plate, because “MOMMY! You forgot to put something in this hole! Every hole needs something different!”

There are still a couple minutes before the nuggets are finished, so I take this time to dose Piet his insulin. Since he started his insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor, mealtime is quite a bit easier. No more shots and no more finger sticks!

I count up the carbs: 7g(Goldfish) + 5g(Oreo) + 12g(four chicken nuggets) = 24g. Next, I check the Dexcom and see what his blood sugar is. I grab his PDM(personal diabetes manager), type in his BG(blood sugar or glucose), and how many carbs he’s eating. It does the math, and distributes the suggested insulin.

Finally, the food is ready, Piet is dosed, TV trays are out, and it’s time to eat!

O crap! The baby! I buckle Kam into her high chair, scatter some shredded cheddar and Cheerios onto her tray, and call it a meal. Sorry, Baby.

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