The other day the kids were both driving me crazy. They’re going through a phase where they can barely be in the same room together for longer than three minutes without some sort of epic fight breaking out. And I swear to you, they can – and will – fight over anything. ANYTHING. They’ll fight over who gets the one lone yellow bowl and who has to have a blue on (I’m about to throw the damn yellow bowl out). They’ll argue over who gets to lock the door when someone leaves. It never ends.
It got to a point where I was seriously debating walking to the nearest mental facility and insisting that they lock me inside a nice soft room until both kids reach adulthood but I’d probably change my mind after the first couple of days (maybe a whole week?) so something less drastic was in order.
It turns out that a dumb Beagle on your leash, Jason Mraz on your iPod, and woods spread out around you can do a whole lot of good for the soul. Remember what I said about how we need a yard? What we really need is a place with a yard that backs onto a really huge wooded area. I felt so much better once I was away from street noise and people and was just surrounded by trees and plants and dirt paths. I would do so well in a tiny cabin in the middle of nowhere. With a good high speed Internet connection, naturally.
But seriously, this kind of landscape does wonders for the spirit.
In other non-stabby news (with a nod to Angella for the term “stabby” which is so accurate, isn’t it?), Hayley decided that she really wanted to cook something. She’s been getting her own sandwiches from time to time but she wanted to make something more substantial. I wish I could remember who it was that mentioned it on their blog (if you remember, please tell me!) that the danger with kids cooking is that they could burn themselves on a hot stove, but so what? That’s how they learn. That stuck in my head for awhile.
I’m obviously not about to let my six-year-old handle a pot full of boiling water and she’s not ready for unsupervised cooking, but just some basic stove use? Well, why the hell not.
Thus, the other day when she came home from school, instead of giving her a yogurt or something simple for a snack, Hayley made herself some scrambled eggs. She was super excited when I said that yes, she would be making them on the stove and no, I was not going to do any of it. I narrated to her, telling her what she needed to do and I mimed things for her (like cracking the eggs into a bowl and how to whisk the milk in) but she did every single thing herself.
And she did indeed burn herself a tiny little bit on the edge of the pan, and the world didn’t end. She basically reacted like me, except that she said, “Oh, OUCH!” whereas I would have used a slightly stronger expletive than “ouch”, but she was fine and she kept cooking.
The only time I finally stepped in was when it was time to dish the eggs out into two bowls so that she could share some with Breanna. For one thing, I wanted to make sure Breanna got more than one bite in her bowl, and for another, the frying pan is a bit heavy and I didn’t want Hayley to lose her grip and drop the eggs all over the floor – not because it would be a huge mess, but because it would have triggered one of those “really tired post-school kid meltdowns” of epic proportions.
She was so very proud of herself and is already looking forward to doing it again. Maybe I’ll let her make us breakfast this weekend. It IS going to be Mother’s Day after all!
Breanna won’t be ready for real stove cooking for awhile but she has helped me pour and stir things before when they’re not directly on the burners, and the same day that Hayley made the eggs, Breanna made her own tuna sandwich, first helping me mix the tuna with the mayonnaise and then making the actual sandwich herself. The only thing I had to do was cut it (square, please, never ever triangles!).
Do your kids cook?