When I’ve had a particularly rough week and I am grumpy and exhausted, I have an evening ritual with the kids.
It starts with a carpet picnic. I throw something quick or frozen into the oven (like chicken nuggets or frozen pizza, maybe some fries if I am feeling ambitious). The only rule is that the food require no preparation and be easy to eat. To ensure our picnic is authentic, the kids throw a blanket on the floor and use couch cushions to assign seats. Danny will sometimes put a toy at everyone’s place. It’s the greatest thing ever, because I don’t have to cook and the kids think it’s fun and different and spend most of the meal talking about how cool carpet picnics are.
Then we add on movie night, which means I can turn off the lights, curl up under a blanket with a bowl of popcorn and not talk to anyone! The family cuddling is an added bonus!
I have crafted this entire evening around my need to be lazy and anti-social but those silly kids think it’s a special treat created just for them. I can even use the night as a bribe for good behavior! Luckily, they haven’t called my bluff on that yet.