How many times in your youth did you participate in an all out food-fight? For me and my family I can safely say that tonight was our first time! It was inspired by a conversation that Jared had with Joseph in which he asked his daddy why we don’t ever have food fights 🙂 . Such a funny little boy! Isn’t it obvious?!? What was a little more perplexing was that Jared thought to himself “why not?!” If I had more sense I could have listed off a million different reasons, but for some reason it got me to thinking the same thing and ways to make it possible instead of thinking of all the ways and reasons it shouldn’t be.
It started with a list of foods that we could throw. We thought of spaghetti and chocolate cream pies but both were nixed because of their ability to stain. I wanted this to be fun and not me worrying about their clothes or my house and furniture. I’m sure I would be worried enough about it as it was. We settled on a menu of pancakes, stuffing, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, green and orange jello, brownies, oatmeal, spaghetti noodles without the sauce, ramen noodles, whipped cream in the cans, homemade whipped cream, and the pièce de resistance was our pudding bombs (pudding set inside cupcake liners).
We spent one day making all the food and making sure they were in plastic containers. Just in case the containers were picked up or dropped I didn’t want to have the added worry of glass on the floor. Sunday night, after the kids were asleep in bed, Jared and I started pushing furniture off to the side and taping the plastic to the ceiling. W e used painters plastic and just pieced sections together with duct tape.
We had planned on doing this as a family but thought it might be a little more fun to have a few more people involved. We thought to ask my parents but we both knew that if they knew what we were doing they probably wouldn’t come at all. So we invited them over for dinner and FHE. We asked them to bring foods like eggs, refried beans, and rice so that it would look like we were actually going to be eating dinner. We also asked them to wear grubby clothes because I wanted them to really enjoy themselves and not worry about their clothes. Once I asked that though they had questions as to what we would be doing. The minute they walked through the front door and I had them take off their watches and they saw the plastic dividing that back part of the house my mom seemed to deflate and said, “We’re painting aren’t we!?!” I just smiled and waved them through the entrance.
They commented on all the food on the table, we started our FHE off with a prayer and then Jared recited the scripture from Zechariah 5 that says, “Then I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a flying roll.” As he was reciting he took a pancake and smeared a bit of mashed potatoes on it. I think at that moment my parents started to understand what was going on.
I’ll never forget Jared throwing the first piece of food at Benjamin. As he was winding up Benjamin started saying, “NO! NO! NO!” You have to remember that this is going against everything we’ve ever told the kids. We were worried about how they’d act afterward, that they’d start throwing their food all the time but we decided to be open and honest with them and explain to them the amount of work we had to do in prepping so that our house could still be livable after.
I have to say that I had expected quite a few things. I was prepared for the mess but I wasn’t prepared for how much fun it would be or how into it everyone would get. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall and snapped a million pictures of everyone laughing and playing. Being there wasn’t enough especially when you’re ducking behind things and slip-sliding all over the floor. The couple of times that I pulled out my camera I became a real easy target and had to put it away. It was mostly Emma that would try to get me when my camera was out. I was okay with the flour being thrown at me but when she started spraying whipped cream I had to put it away.
Not everyone had a smooth transition into the food fighting scene. Once Benjamin got over his initial fears of getting in trouble we had to ease Jacob into everything. He was in tears for the first few throws until Jared took him into the family room as showed him that it was just food. Jared put some food on his fingers and had Jacob taste it. Whatever reassurances he needed he got in that minute. From that time on everyone knew that they needed to be a little easier on Jacob and I was so impressed that they were. They still included him but they were softer, a bit more gentle when getting him. He got very into after that but occasionally I’d find him sucking on his fingers 🙂 . After he doused Nana with some food I had them get together for a picture. As I was counting he turned his head to look at Nana and actually licked the side of her face!!! It was a priceless moment!
Jacob wasn’t the only one that I found enjoying the food that was strewn all over the house. Towards the beginning of the fight I caught Emma taking a bite out of one of the pudding bombs before chucking it at someone. Joseph took a break from throwing to squeeze a little whipped cream into his mouth. My mom was a bit grossed out at the beginning when she saw Joseph eating some of the food. She made an “ewe” comment until I reminded her that it was all edible. That seemed to connect some dots for her and everyone else and it was great to see people eating the food throughout most of the event.
Here are some more pictures of us just have a good time!
When all the food had been thrown and we had taken the massive amounts of food that had been caked on our feet off and re-thrown that, it was time for a group photo!
This was an amazing memory for our family! I’m so glad I didn’t say no to one of Jared’s ideas. It might be one of the funnest things we’ve done as a family. I’m so glad that my parents didn’t back out but that they were here to build this memory with their grandchildren. I know it was different and out of their comfort zones but I’m so grateful that they were grandparents before they were Bryan or Jennifer (that they put their grandchildren before themselves). And I think that they found that they were really able to have a great time as well.
There was such a huge mess but I was pretty confident that 99% of it was contained. I’m so glad that Jared and I spent that extra time to go over every seam and seal it.
I just about thought of everything except when it came to an exit strategy. When we were all done I realized that I didn’t want everyone walking through the house covered in food so I had to tear a hole over the sink, wash my hands as best I could, and then tear another hole as close to the back door as possible for everyone to walk out. That worked better in theory because everyone had to step onto the tile to get to the door so I had some scrubbing to do later.
Everyone got their feet and legs sprayed down and then what didn’t get washed away by the water they scrubbed off on the grass. Even with that, we were still covered and had layers of food caked on us. Actually, later at dinner I found some food in one of the kids’ ears that was missed in the shower 🙂 .
And just like that, we started pulling the plastic off the ceiling and wrapping it in on itself. There were one or two places where the food found its way out of the plastic but that was all on the tile and quickly cleaned up. Surprisingly the worst of it was at the back door when the kids stepped on the tile before stepping outside. All that food smashed on their feet smudged on the tile.
The kids passed out in the car on the way home from dinner at Famous Dave’s at 10:00pm. By 11:15pm the house was spotless and back to normal! What an amazing night!!!