relaxing dinner with a baby and a toddler ? what ?

this is a lunch set up picture !  they look calm in this picture don't they ?
For a while, dinner time was a stressful time for us.  A typical dinner would be us trying to get our slow eater toddler (she's no longer picky, just chew slowly) to eat, slow down our fast eater baby so she doesn't choke !  all the while trying to put something into our growling stomach !   It's no fun for all of us.  By the time our toddler finished her food, we've lost our appetite because our food has now gone cold.  Some day we're too exhausted to reheat the food and feed ourselves.  Someday we go to bed feeling like we never had dinner.

I love food !  I enjoy eating and now that it's becoming a chore, it bothers me to no end.  I decided to do something about it.  Dinner sucks because of the kids !  So I eliminated them :-)  I started to feed my kids first, feed them their dinner early !!!!   I figured that's the only way our dinner will not be interrupted.  Until they are older, we will eat together again.  For now, I need time to eat and digest my food so I can have the strength to keep up with the 2 little monsters :-)  My husband needs to eat too !  Everyday, after greeting us, he would say "I'm so hungry" !  The man just came home from a stressful job, he needs food to nourish him !  We all need to eat ;-)

At our house, we usually have dinner around 6:30pm so I try to feed the kids around 5:45, 6 o'clock.  They like to eat together, and yelling, laughing, and screaming together !  all the while with me singing and talking to them !  It's a gong show but by the time we set up our dinner, things quiet down a notch, the kids leave us alone because they're full.  Husband and I get to eat hot food, vent about our day, sip our coco water, yap some more about whatever.  The kids are often found eating fruits (we usually have fruits after dinner, an asian thing ?) and playing at our feet (or dancing to Katy Perry's Firework).   The kids entertain each other and we get to EAT !  It's nice and dare I say ?  r.e.l.a.x.i.n.g.

I am fully aware that we're not eating together.   It's temporary sanity for us, for now.  We're still together as a family in one room.  We're all talking to each other.  Sharing our day stories.  I know other parents might be judging us or wagging their fingers !  but this is what works for us.  We're not stress out !  We don't do it all the time but most days.  For me, I feel if we're happy parents we will raise happy kids !