How to find some peace

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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.

Through the woods

Pant, pant

Blossoming tree

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.

Little chef

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.

All done

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!

Lunch time

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?

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11 thoughts on “How to find some peace

  1. Richard L Walker

    Those eggs look great.

    Maybe Breanna could make toast if that is part of the breakfast.

    I watched a documentary that showed kids did their worst arguing when there was a parent around. Otherwise they tended to play (mostly) OK.
    Any of that going on?

  2. Sherry

    That’s a good idea about the toast.

    I don’t know about the arguing. They tend to be pretty good at George’s parents’ house if we drop them off, but it could be because of the distractions. Sometimes they play really well together here, but lately it’s been Bicker City.

  3. Angella

    Isn’t “stabby” a great word? I picked it up from my friend Hillary 🙂

    There’s something about being out in nature that just makes everything better.

  4. Randi

    My kids do minor cooking – none on the stove. Toad is getting to the point now where I’d trust him doing a bit of stove cooking, but he’d definitely need to do it standing on a chair or stool or something.

    I do love, however, baking with the kids – they don’t get into the stove yet, but they do everything else.

    *I* have issues letting the kids crack eggs. I HATE eggshells in my food LOL.

    Randis last blog post..Big Day

  5. Andrea_R

    Yes, muy kids cook, and a darn fine job they do. Bonus? I don’t have to cook on mother’s Day AND it doesn’t mean we’re eating out.

    I also let them play with knives and pointy sticks.

    I let emma (my youngest, she’s 8) use the microwave to reheat things, but I forgot about scrambled eggs.

  6. Heidi

    Yay for Hayley! Sounds like she did a great job 🙂

    I think CPS would be on my case if I let my kid cook (he’ll be three next month) but considering how much he loves his Fisher Price grill, he’ll be barbecuing soon.

    Considering how much I love barbecue, I’ll let him.

    Heidis last blog post..Skagit Valley Tulip Festival & La Conner

  7. Richard L Walker

    I see gizmos that supposedly let you cook eggs (scrambled and otherwise) in the microwave. I’ve tried it twice and have gotten big booms (and a mess to clean up) both times. These days I turn chicken and simply do all eggs on the stovetop.

  8. Sherry

    Andrea – No, no, no. Your kids don’t *cook*. Your kids make mouthwatering delights. Every time you mention one of their food creations on Twitter I wish I lived close enough that I could “just be in the neighborhood” so I could drop in and sample some! (Well, that’s only one of the reasons.)

    Richard, we never used anything special. George makes big omelet type dishes in a microwaveable casserole dish with eggs, cheese, spices, and sometimes leftover stuff like ham. He just throws in everything you’d put in an omelet, stirs it and then covers it, cooking on high for five minutes. I’ve also made scrambled eggs by cracking one egg and a bit of milk into a regular sized coffee mug and cooking on high for about two minutes – but you need to stick close by and watch, stopping it once or twice when the egg starts to puff up over the top of the mug. They actually come out quite fluffy.

  9. Richard L Walker

    If I were to create a 3rd explosive mess my wife would kill me. I’ll stick with the stovetop. lol

  10. ian

    Good for her!
    My girls love to cook (reminds me – i have something that need to blog on!)
    They love cooking eggs too – what is it about eggs? and yes, there was a slight burn too – for which I was yelled at!

    ians last blog post..READY…AND !!!

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