‘The Marriage Umpire:” Burping and farting at dinner!

This is our third round of “The Marriage Umpire” today. You send us your marital problem and we’ll help you solve it. (We actually do this all the time but we’re officially playing this week as we await the new show “The Marriage Ref” by Jerry Seinfeld on NBC.)

This problem is NOT anonymous. I have permission to use names on this one. This comes from our very own Jesse’s Girl and is all about the expectation versus the reality of family dinners. Here’s what she writes (always so colorfully! – the crux of the argument is in bold):

“OK….so I know that there’s a huge push for the “Family Dinner Table.” Well at our house…that’s a load of horse crap. Try as I might…it never works for us. With Jesse’s travel schedule, we only get 2 dinners a week as a family. Usually on the weekends. You would think I would have learned my lesson long ago…but apparently, I am wwaayy dumber than I ever thought possible. Here’s a typical Jesse’s Girl family dinner. (and it should be mentioned…pointedly so…that I HATE when it plays out like this. Jesse thinks it’s just “so funny and cute.” Hence the need for the umpire:)

JG: has been lovingly preparing everyone’s faves for dinner…with an apron on no less! The girls may get mac n cheese, mashed taters….their fave comfort foods. The Boy may get spicy chicken wings….its really funny to see him navigate through all the sauce. And I will typically make Jesse a steak…perfectly grilled and pink in all the right places…cause I love him:)

The girls: My 13 and 11 year old daughters will begin setting the table…keeping the nit-picking down to a minimum because they know…Hey, mom is really knockin herself out here. They squabble a bit about where everyone is sitting. But I just let it go because I know after living with these lovely..albeit predictable…creatures for so long that they will end up exactly where they always are. Pick your battles right?

The Boy: The Boy is never around when dinner is being prepared. Why? Because I may kill him….no..he literally may be killed. He sneaks up behind me with any number of noisy toys and tries to scare me. I am petrified that I will swing a greasy spatula around one day and scar him so bad he’ll look like the Phantom of the Opera! So he’s been banned.

Jesse: My sweet husband. He is very likely watching some sports show…although it could just as easily be The Military or History Channel. But he calls out to me every so often….”Babe….is there anything I can do?” To which I reply….”No honey…you just sit right there”. (I am not being bitchy yet….I really want him to sit. I could kill him in the kitchen too. He likes to goose me. It’s dangerous to goose a woman while she’s cookin’.)

Now we are all at the table. The blessing has been said. And so….it begins. The Boy will burp…loudly. Then the oldest…GIRL mind you…finds it appalling that her baby brother is catching up to her uncanny and nauseating ability to sound as if she is a 400 lb man moving furniture. So she burps even louder. All 3 children are laughing so wildly at this point that if I didn’t know what was being served for dinner already…I would have my answer by seeing the gaping holes in their heads where their closed mouths used to be! I say something about manners in my most stern voice and for a couple of minutes all is quiet on the western front. Then Jesse will compliment my culinary abilities…and do something sweet like lean over and kiss my hand or forehead. I think…”Hey! Maybe we’ll make it through this dinner without the farting!” But no….my hopes are dashed. Jesse has decided that it’s time for the Orifice Orchestra to go on! Wonderful…perfection! I sit at my table where I am treated to some lovely pieces of music….FOR FARM ANIMALS!!! Jesse burps and farts…the kids burp and fart…telling stories from their week in between the sounds of fatherly bonding.

They think it’s great! They love their daddy so much and think he’s awesome for being so cool. And he does threaten their lives if they even think of doing this outside the confines of our home. But I want one…just ONE… family dinner that does not involve belching and tooting. And people wonder why wine gives me such pleasure……”

Again I think a fairly common issue – kids (and sometimes husbands) get silly and out of hand at dinner. We rarely if ever are lucky enough to have Michael at the dinner table with us. Mine tend to get silly and giggly and just out of control laughing. A little fun is great at the dinner table but not when they are out of control.

OK so should Mr. Jesse be perfuming the air and encouraging the kids to do the same? How can family dinners be reigned in so they are fun but not out of control?

85 comments Add your comment

Jane

February 24th, 2010
3:13 pm

I love it when we eat together (which is usually). However, I make one dinner – FOR EVERYONE. The children have learned that they don’t always get everything they want. If I make meatloaf tonight – then EVERYONE eats meatloaf tonight. Period. I really don’t see the point of always making everyone’s favorites. They learn to eat a variety of foods. Every night is different, so if you don’t like tonight’s dinner, you may love tomorrow’s.

As for the burping/farting. Heaven’s no – that’s NOT allowed. If someone does it accidently, they apologize and we move on. There hasn’t been a case when I think it was done intentionally. However, in Jesse’s Girl’s case – her problem is Jesse. As long as he does it and thinks it’s funny, she can’t stop the kids. If she wants it to stop, she needs to express that desire to Jesse and have him enforce it.

JJ

February 24th, 2010
3:15 pm

When my brother and I got silly at the table, we were asked to leave the table and return when we could act civilized.

TechMom

February 24th, 2010
3:16 pm

Glad to know our family dinner time isn’t the only musical family dinner around. Yes, hubby and boy think it’s hysterical. And every now and then you’ll get a giggle out of me too (though I find it more amusing when the dog does it and then turns around to see where it came from). But when it started to become common place (boy looked around, lifted his rear-end and let one loose only to laugh his head off) I lost it. Husband laughed. I got up and left the table. There’s a time and a place to have fun and cut up but my hubby and boy haven’t seemed to figure out that there are times when it ISN’T appropriate. My dad was a stickler for manners and would banish you from the dinner table for any inappropriate conduct and my mom supported him. It’s kind of hard to enforce manners when one of the leaders of the family is the worst one of the bunch though.

Dave

February 24th, 2010
3:18 pm

Theresa – burping and farting at the table isn’t “silly and out of hand.” It’s just down right rude and disrespectful to others at the table. A couple of jokes where folks laugh and giggle alot is “silly and out of hand.”

If one of my children burped/farted at the table, trust me – they’d learn not to do it again.

5!!!

February 24th, 2010
3:18 pm

Vomit. I would send the first one who did it to their room without dinner. And if my spouse behaved that way, i wouldn’t prepare a meal with them.

Lisa

February 24th, 2010
3:22 pm

5!!! – are you saying “Vomit” as in if someone vomited at the table you’d send them to their room, or are you saying “Vomit” as in “he11 no?”

Tina

February 24th, 2010
3:26 pm

5!! I am so with you on that one. I dare my hubby to do that! JG, I can’t believe you put up with that. Sounds like your husband has some growing up to do.

Lisa

February 24th, 2010
3:27 pm

Sounds like Jesse runs that house and Jesse’s Girl does whatever he tells her too! She even identifies herself as his girl – she has absolutely no identity of her own!

lakerat

February 24th, 2010
3:28 pm

Actually, this is not a topic for an “umpire” – it is rude and crude behavior that is learned. If tolerated it will continue (as pointed out by the writer), especially if the “father”, who in this case is part of the problem, continues to be disrespectful to his wife AND children. Being a child is one thing, being a grown-up child is another…While it can be funny on occasion, too much is not good for anyone, especially the girls who will embarrass themselves one of these days…

Kathy

February 24th, 2010
3:30 pm

JG…..I am crying I am laughing so hard!! I come from a family of bathroom humorists so I can totally relate. Little E can burp like a frat boy and thinks it is hysterical! We try so hard not to laugh and we certainly don’t encourage it. We talk with her about manners and saying excuse me, etc. Sometimes we are just so shocked at the noises that her little body can make!

Maybe you can tell Jessie that everytime he does that he has to pay you a dollar or whatever amount you deem worthy. I had a friend who did that with her husband that would not stop using swear words. He had to pay the “Swear Jar” $1 every time he let the F bomb fly. After about a week he stopped. My friend had enough money to go get herself a mani/pedi!

I guess on the positive side, your family is laughing together and talking. Most families can’t even get to the table together. It sounds like you have a wonderful family….cherish the funny moments, because before long the kids will all be grown and gone and you will miss all those great moments.

new mom

February 24th, 2010
3:32 pm

Not to be harsh, but this is really disgusting. I think JG needs to have a conversation with her husband privately, not at the table, and tell him how that behavior makes her feel. That it is disrespectful to not only her but to the family for him to encourage that behavior, etc. And ask him to talk to the kids, again before the meal, and explain that even though they think it’s fun, they shouldn’t act like that at the dinner table. Then–if it continues–if it were me, I’d seriously leave the table. Tell them that I won’t eat around that, and they can either stop that nastiness or you will have to eat at another time without them.
But that’s just me. ;) I think that if husband really knows how much it upsets wife, and he has a lick of brains and respect, he will step up and stop this nastiness.

Michelle

February 24th, 2010
3:33 pm

That is just gross! I can understand a little burp here and there (while trying to keep it quite). That happens sometimes. Now, most episodes of gas…you know they’re coming…be respectful and leave the room! How disgusting! I don’t even like the kids or hubby to do that around me outside of supper!!!

My step son was not feeling well over the weekend. He kept belching at the table. I told him if he can’t stop, he needs to leave the table. I understand that he was not feeling well, but we did not need to be exposed to that!

JG…I think you have your work cut out for you! I agree with an earlier poster, if you want it to stop, you’re going to have to start with Jesse!

Actually, Lisa...

February 24th, 2010
3:39 pm

…I think the moniker “Jesse’s Girl” is a takeoff on the 1980 Rick Springfield song “I wish that I had Jesse’s Girl”, and the writer is living the dream. But I could be wrong, and her highness is not with us this afternoon to correct me!

LM

February 24th, 2010
3:42 pm

We don’t have a dining room table, but meals at our house are just a crude…

When hubby does one of several disgusting sounds, I always replay with “oooohhhh baby you’er turning me on”. I don’t fuss, just go along with it, I was raised better but I am not his mother and I am not responsible for his actions. He does not do it when you go out so I can ignore it when it happens at home.

AB/DC has an amazing ability to sound like a frat boy. When she starts with the crude stuff I do make a point to correct her, and she then feels the need to correct hubby. Or complains why can he do it without me getting on his case. I remind her I am not his Momma and I am raising her to act better. Accidently said it in front of the MIL, oh well truth hurts.

redfaced

February 24th, 2010
3:42 pm

At our house it is the two boys and MOM who get into the noise making activities to see who can outdo the other! And it is MOM who always tries to blame the poor little dogs! So, see, it is not always “a man’s world”!

Jeff in Roswell

February 24th, 2010
3:45 pm

Lighten up! Gas coming from our bodies either from our mouth or our derriere are a normal natural occurence. Embrace the gas.

Okay, let’s all breathe in
now , breathe out…
hmmm, maybe wait until the offensive smell has disappeared, before breathing.

This is a great topic.

LM

February 24th, 2010
3:46 pm

@ Actually Lisa, you are correct, Jessie’s Girl has said that before when someone else said something.

Jeff in Roswell

February 24th, 2010
3:48 pm

@ Actually Lisa… “her highness is not with us this afternoon to correct me!”

I got a good chuckle out of that sentence… so true.

New Stepmom

February 24th, 2010
3:48 pm

GROSS….My mom would have had a fit and I would too. Our rule growing up and at my house is if you burp on purpose, you get to clean up the kitchen on your own with no help. That solved the burping contests that my brother and I tried once and only once….

Jeff

February 24th, 2010
4:14 pm

Well, JG. It’s hysterically funny. But, alas, you are right. It’s not cool for the dad to undermind the mom in front of the kids.

Cammi317

February 24th, 2010
4:15 pm

OMG! Sounds like a scene out of those Eddie Murphy movies, The Nutty Professor and The Klumps!

FCM

February 24th, 2010
4:16 pm

“He likes to goose me. It’s dangerous to goose a woman while she’s cookin’” yes what is up with this? My Dad annoys my mother this way. I even remember him doing it when we were kids. My own (ex)spouse nearly got evicerated one night by sneaking up on me while I was cutting/deboning a chicken. I hear he does similar to the fiancee who also hates it. The kids hate it too when he sneaks on them.

JJ my folks sent us from the table and sometimes we were not invited back. Your right, it cures the issue pretty quick.

Jane don’t faint, I agree with you too. As long as Jesse is ok with it the kids will just have the “but dad does it” attitude.

JG’s name does have to do with the song by RS. JG has no problem seeing herself as person outside of “her man.”

New Mom I am with you too on the idea that I might leave the table.

Of course at my house we have table, I just don’t use it. At least not unless we have “company” over (parents, friends etc). We have our family time before/after dinner when we do not have food etc distracting our talk. We enjoy dinner together NOT making conversation while eating but while watching TV. They still have to use manners or they are told to leave the room. That includes talking with mouths full, rolling on the floor like a monkey, or making rude noises.

Jeff

February 24th, 2010
4:50 pm

As far as the goosing goes, my version entails (used to entail) getting in a nice hug from behind while you are defenseless. If you don’t like it, well, I think I might could get you to like it.

Becky

February 24th, 2010
4:58 pm

Growing up we never sat at the table as a family, we just ate wherever we sat..I usually make my two little ones eat at the table..So far, they don’t act like that..Their Poppy doesn’t do this, so they won’t have that excuse to use..I don’t think that I would put up with for to long though..Nip it, nip it in the bud as Barney Fife used to say..Guess only time will tell..

FCM

February 24th, 2010
5:05 pm

@ Jeff — that makes sense in the way that if he is leaning over the car working on the engine, I might do the same. However, hugging me while I am deboning a chicken is proably like hugging him while he cuts the lawn. Too much potential for danger. Instead a whisper in the ear and I might just drop the knife. Course if the kids are fine, I might just delay dinner too. ;)

penguinmom

February 24th, 2010
5:48 pm

@New Stepmom – I like the cleaning the kitchen idea.

I think this is a discussion that needs to happen between the parents away from the dinner table. Explaining how it makes her feel and why it is upsetting. Then, if it happens again, I would pick up my plate and leave the table in silence (which would signal to my family ‘you really messed up big time’).

Another option would be to have a nice dessert available and say, ahead of time, “dessert is for anyone who can avoid making bathroom noises at the table.” Then Enforce the rule. You might get a whole dessert to yourself.

I can’t believe JG is making so many different dinners. One dinner for everyone or you make your own food if you want something different.

fk

February 24th, 2010
6:36 pm

Manners at the family dinner table matter. That’s how our littles one learn to behave on the outside. One dinner for all…or go hungry. I never cooked a meal that I knew someone would not like and I would never cook several meals for different tastes.

catlady

February 24th, 2010
7:01 pm

I would end the meal if things degenerated like that. Apparently people are not hungry if they have to turn it into Soupy Sales Laugh Hour.

You teach your family what you expect, and then you follow through. It doesn’t mean you can’t laugh and enjoy each other, but it does mean that certain civilities will be observed.

One dinner for all the family. Anything they don’t want, that’s okay. I serve good food, they decide what and how much of it to eat. No struggles. No snacks (fruit or cheese) if folks don’t eat.

Jeff in Roswell

February 24th, 2010
7:09 pm

Burping at the table is compliments to the chef.

Usually, when this behavior happens at our table my wife usually just rolls her eyes. The boy and I get our laughs in and then it’s over. We just don’t make a big deal out of it in OUR home. Eating somewhere else is an entirely different story.

Jeff in Roswell

February 24th, 2010
7:10 pm

Usually, usually… lol, I guess I need to proofread.

motherjanegoose

February 24th, 2010
7:27 pm

Amen catlady. I am not a short order cook. I cook one meal, with the exception of several veggie choices as the guys do not like cauliflower or brussels sprouts. I will also grill a chicken breast for Dad as he does not like salmon and the rest of us do. Each family has their own set of manners and obviously some are stricter than others.

Burping and farting do not fly in our family. No matter what happens, if you laugh at any faux pax it will be hard to enforce a rule. I do not allow the TV on during dinner, as it over rides the point of pleasant conversation and appreciating each other. To me, when the TV is on, the TV becomes more important than the 30 minutes of family time we are trying to establish on a regular basis. JMHO

You will set the precedent for your kids and their future families too. Kind of like the language little kids come to school with…we teachers KNOW what kind of words are being used at home.

FCM. on my cell

February 24th, 2010
7:57 pm

MJG my kids eat at the table @ my folks just like I did as a kid. Mine also use manners. I have few good memories of sitting @ our table as akid. However we just finnished eating and when the rerun of Hannah is over tv will go offn. I think we are playing Scrabble before bath. Tv was off until dinner was done. My pt is that I agree family time is to be fostered…I just don’t make it associated with food. Unless it is party practice. We put out trays of nibbles-carrots, crackers etc- and eat while we socialize. It all works

DB

February 24th, 2010
9:27 pm

Omigod. JG, I NEVER want to come to dinner at your house! How GROSS. If that had happened in my house, there would have been kids going to bed without supper, and the husband would have been in no doubt of my displeasure. Accidental burps can’t be helped, and manners require us to ignore them, while the culprit offers a polite, low-key “excuse me”. But to do it on purpose? Hell no, not in MY house. I’m waaaay too big on manners to allow my kids to get away with this nonsense at the table — or anywhere else, for that matter. The person who laughs is basically an accomplice and gets the same treatment, because they should know better than to laugh at someone else’s bad manners!

We generally had a sit-down dinner about 5 nights a week, two nights were difficult because of traveling and late after-school activities. The table was set, everyone sat in the same place they have sat for the last 15 years, and we talked about the day, laughed, argued and sometimes just ate really fast and hit the books (after they did the dishes — I cook, they clean). It took a little planning, but I felt it was a critical time for us to maintain our sense of family — even if it was just for 15 minutes. If one of my kids had deliberately burped in such an obnoxious fashion at the table, my husband would have been the FIRST to chastise them, and he sure wouldn’t have “joined in the fun.”

Second, at some point when my kids were 4 and 2, I suddenly realized that I was not a short-order cook and they had to eat grown-up food. I tried to make sure that each meal had something that they liked, and I was never a proponent of the “clean plate club”, but after driving myself crazy cooking four meals at a time, I finally decided that was that, and started planning meals. Checked the school menu to make sure spaghetti wasn’t served twice in one day, but otherwise, “there’s dinner, if you don’t like it, maybe you’ll have better luck at breakfast.” Sometimes, they may have just had a roll and a few spoonfuls of green beans. Some nights, it was just the mashed potatoes. But they survived, and gradually learned how eat like adults instead of savages.

Jesse's Girl

February 24th, 2010
10:08 pm

Hello my loves….it should be noted that I only do this “cook your fave” thing on the Saturdays that we are all together…..which are few and far between. As far as as my online moniker goes….Your Majesty had Rick Springfield’s song “Jessie’s Girl” played at her wedding….I walked down the aisle to it. So as you can imagine..it holds a special place in my heart. I have my own identity in spades….not to worry:)

The family has never..and I do mean NEVER..done this when company gathers. I have had all of them at the Ritz Carlton’s Dining Room…God rest its soul….and they were the personification of manners and decorum.

My only true issue is that I would like my idealized vision of family dinners to make an appearance once and again. My bday is coming…maybe they’ll wrap that up for me with a big, pretty red bow:)

DB

February 24th, 2010
10:45 pm

JG: So they DO know manners — they just don’t think it’s worth exercising them at YOUR table? Have you actually sat down and told them, “This stops, now — I find it offensive, I’m the Mommy, and that’s the end of the discussion. I want to enjoy my dinner and my family without feeling that I’ve failed as a parent and raised a family of pigs.”

HB

February 24th, 2010
11:43 pm

I definitely could not handle that — yuck! Table manners were drilled into me as a child and even as a sitter, I was fairly strict at mealtime. I didn’t expect kids to have perfect etiquette, but they had to sit with their full body facing forward — no hanging over the side of the chair, on their knees looking over the back, or hopping up and down, or standing next to the chair as fidgety little boys tend to do. No toys at the table. Lively conversation was fine, but they had to use indoor voices and remain relatively calm for the 10-15 minutes of meal time. If one got too crazy, he had to sit quietly alone at the table for a few minutes as I cleaned up while his brother(s) were allowed to go back to playing. If we were at Burger King or McD’s, punishment was a few minutes on the bench before being allowed to join the others on the playground (that worked particularly well — they were extra good at the restaurants). They knew the rules and really were good about showing good big boy manners at the table with just the occasional gentle reminder, so punishment was very rarely necessary.

Jesse's Girl

February 24th, 2010
11:52 pm

Ya know what….if this is what I have to endure for the precious few days we have together as a family of five…then so be it:)They absolutely know how/when/where to act like ladies and gentlemen outside the home. I will set aside my lovely dream of a dressed-for-dinner evening of family bonding…for now:)

Jeff in Roswell

February 25th, 2010
6:11 am

@ JG, I have to agree.

For all those spouting off in their best “high and mighty” tones, you may do well to lighten up. I’m all for discipline but I came from a family that dinners in the evening were one of the most uncomfortable things of my childhood. I don’t have a link but you need to look up a video on youtube of Will Farrell from SNL at a dinner table skit. That’s what I imagine most of your family dinners to be. Our lives are all so very busy that we need laughter and funny times when we get together. If farting and burping helps to get the giggles going, I’m all for it. As I said previously, if we’re eating somewhere other than our home – restaurants, friends, etc, it would not be tolerated.

I’ll find the link to the video. Laugh at your dinner table, your kids will remember you for it and you might not need to take your blood pressure medicine any longer.

Jeff in Roswell

February 25th, 2010
6:25 am

Jesse's Girl

February 25th, 2010
7:07 am

I think I’ll take the Orifice Orchestra….at least my kids are happy:)

Jane

February 25th, 2010
7:36 am

WHY DID WE WASTE OUR TIME ON THIS BLOG?

The majority of us told JG that this sort of behavior was unacceptable and she should start off by telling Jesse this and stop it. We put out thoughtful explanations and possibilities for change.

Now, in her 11:52 post she says to forget it – she’ll take it the way it is. She apparently just wanted some attention – no real help.

Can’t teach an old dog new tricks!

A

February 25th, 2010
8:02 am

Then why did JG complain in the first place?! We’re all in agreement that this kind of behavior is disrespectful and has no place at the dining table. Personally, I feel burping and passing gas as a joke has no place anywhere. They are normal bodily function and will happen in front of other people at times, but it’s really low class to turn that into a joke. These kids will grow up thinking it’s normal. Boy will they be in for a rude awakening!

Raqi

February 25th, 2010
8:17 am

This is just disgusting. You would think a grown man would have more home training than to do those things at the dinner table. And to teach his kids so? smh

I wouldn’t tolerate it.

Photius

February 25th, 2010
8:18 am

I would never ever allow my children to display red neck, white trash behavior like that at the dinner table. Pure trash….

motherjanegoose

February 25th, 2010
8:24 am

JG…always love your posts but I agree with Jane today.

FCM…I am not criticizing your meals with the TV on I am just saying it would not fly in my house and I also mention this in most of my presentations: TURN OFF THE TV. I am confident you are interactive with your children but there are many prents out there who are not.

Yesterday, I said that I believe children need a predictable routine and structure ( with expectations) to the teachers who spent the day with me. The teachers applauded. This is not MY novel idea but many of us, in the classroom, find that manners are evaporating and hear adults say: no big deal…lighten up.

The truth is that the ideas posted are opinions….even mine…LOL. To say, we do not sit at the table for dinner at our house is none of my business. If anyone said, ” my kids brush their teeth before they go to bed each night and not before school in the morning” that is your choice and none of my business either.

Have a great day all!

julia

February 25th, 2010
8:34 am

we either act like a human at the table or you leave.. that is just nasty crude and gross…. thank god the ex did not do that because I would have smacked him.

Photius February 25th, 2010 8:18 am
I would never ever allow my children to display red neck, white trash behavior like that at the dinner table. Pure trash….

Do you really think that these are the only groups that do it?? do you not think that the rich hoity toity children can do it.. This has NOT a thing to do with white trash or redneck its just how stupid and gross the parents are at home.

julia

February 25th, 2010
8:36 am

blech that is un couth! WTH are you gonna do when your kids do this in public??

Becky

February 25th, 2010
8:47 am

@Jeff in Roswell..You are right, family dinners don’t have to be to stuffy..As I said before, I wouldn’t want to put up with it all of the time, but when we are having dinner, I want my family to enjoy our time together and have fun..Mine do know how to act when we are out in public..I have people tell me all of the time when we go out to dinner, how well my two are..

As for Jesses Girls name..Did anyone listen to the song? It’s not about being his slave, it’s about being her own girl..Why else would you want to find a girl like that? Besides, don’t most of us on here have our own moniker(sp)?

Scott

February 25th, 2010
8:48 am

What about people who blow their nose at the table??

Jesse's Girl

February 25th, 2010
8:50 am

Y’all…it gets on my nerves…no doubt. But what the Roswell Jeff said kind of hit home. Both Jesse and I grew up with extraordinarily stuffy..don’t-talk-unless-you’re-spoken-to dinners. They were painful…no real conversation…nothing meaningful anyway. I remember hating family dinners. Barn-like though it may be….our kids are happy, well adjudsted children who enjoy being with us. So if it took all your advice to get me to the point of just accepting it however I can…then why do you care? I really wanted opinions on your dinners as well. And I got them….so thank you.