Desperate Measures

My kids are on their worst behavior when I’m cooking. I don’t know why. You’d think the idea of food being prepared for them by their own personal slave would be awesome and cause them to sprint around the house happily but nope, instead the sight of me making them delicious food sends them into evil hysterics.

To attempt to quiet the whining and screaming and wailing by four gaping mouths I decided to include them in cooking.

This isn’t something new, this is something we moms hear a lot. Let the kids be a part of the process, teach them how to cook and all that jazz. Because heaven forbid our six year olds don’t know how to prepare a five course meal for their family.

As you can tell, I don’t particularly like having my children around when I cook. Or bake either for that matter. The mess doesn’t bother me as much as four sets of dirty little kid hands in my food. As much as I wash their hands (and oh howdy do I) one child in particular can’t seem to keep her fingers out of her nose and other orifices.

This little girl (no names here, what kind of mother do you think I am?) was asked three times to wash her hands during our little cooking experience yesterday. Not for nose picking, luckily. For just… touching lots of things that are gross during our dinner prep. Like her feet. Um, sorry child but if you touch your feet you are most certainly banished from the kitchen until that crud is scrubbed off. Once properly cleaned you may rejoin us in our feed-daddy efforts.

Feed-daddy efforts more than feed-the-family efforts because four out of the four children are picky about eating lately. That’s a whole other subject for a whole other day.

So it started with the toddler child. She is the worst offender during the before-dinner hour. Her favorite pre-dinner activity is to stand at my feet and scream at the top of her lungs. The entire time I cook. And when she gets angry enough she will take things around the kitchen and throw them. Sometimes I put her in her highchair with a snack or toy or crayon and paper but it’s a mere minute or two before the screaming has returned and this time is reaches a volume that causes literal twitches to plague my eye. Strapped into a highchair while the mother cooks is the gravest offense Ember has ever experienced.
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I set her up in her highchair besides me with her very own cutting board and knife and veggies and when she saw my setup to her side, everything matching, oh good golly was her face lit up. The only thing that wiped her smile away was the furrowed brow and firm lip brought on by intense concentration.
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We had a lovely five or ten minutes together. I felt equally happy that I’d quieted the meltdown she’d been having and also got to chop vegetables (which I don’t really like doing anyhow) while watching my adorable toddler copy me 🙂

But then the older three wanted to join. And while part of me was happy to teach them and have the bonding time, most of me just wanted to be left alone to get this hellish task of cooking over with. haha
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But then I saw how seriously the older girls were taking it and how they actually did a good job and were being safe (like I’d told them) and respectful of it all… man alive why the heck hadn’t I done this before?!
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Payson meanwhile was ransacking our bandaid stash. It’s a good thing these bandaids are virtually worthless (they don’t stay on for more than a second because they’re so thin) because he used every last one of them to decorate himself with.
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The older girls had cut up a little bit of extra bell pepper but then we were out of veggies (since I’d cut the rest up already) and they still wanted to cut. I let them cut up as many carrots as they wanted despite not needing them. We decided in the end to add them to our chicken pot pie and it’d just be a very carrot-y chicken pot pie.
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We had such a good time together the girls actually ended up grating an entire brick of cheese after that. The mess was a little large but oh well… I was able to seperate an entire pound of cooked chicken while they grated away 🙂
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And then, since I’d been talking about how nice it would be for Allan to come home to a nice hot meal, we all raced around the house tidying up for him as well 🙂
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Allan got home and we all sat down to eat and it was seriously about the best thing ever. I think I really will have my kids join me for cooking whenever they want to. It’s so worth the mess to have everyone joined in purpose like that during the previously worst part of the day.
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