in reality, they usually end with me yelling at hiba and/or matthias and on the brink of yelling at jason. the kids don't like my cooking, i have to feed matthias the whole time so my food is cold by the time i eat it, hiba whines about everything from the food being to spicy (aka having any flavor at all) to where we set her napkin down. the meal is usually ended by matthias throwing his half-eaten plate of food on the ground. by the end of the meal, i am usually convince that home-cooked meals are over-rated, goldfish for dinner could be a balanced meal, and eating in front of the tv is the best idea in the world.
but not tonight. tonight, we had a successful family dinner. i'm trying not to get too excited about it, because i'm sure tomorrow will more closely resemble the paragraph above. but tonight, it was a success.
i made spaghetti and meatballs, french bread, and fresh green beans. hiba actually ate the spaghetti, mostly by herself, and completely with no fits. she tried the green beans, which she very over-dramatically told us she didn't like, but hey - she tried them. and she didn't fuss the whole time.
and matthias. he was amazing. i decided to skip the spaghetti and just cut up the meatballs for him. which he ate on his own (messy - yes, but still), and he at his green beans, and he dipped his bread pieces in the extra sauce on his plate. and the most amazing part - he ended dinner by taking a drink and calmly pushing his plate towards me and signing "all done". which he has NEVER done before. i almost didn't even know what to do.
tomorrow will probably be a family dinner filled with melt-downs, thrown food, and complaints, but hey - i have have tonight to hold on to.