I recently read a post from the blog, Stuff Moms Say, and I found it bang on hilarious! Cooking supper can be torture some days. It always seems to be at the same time of day that my child has forgotten how to stand on his own two feet and needs to be carried. He’s fussy, he’s needy, he wants my full attention. This drives me crazy so I’ve been trying to come up with a solution.
I think it’s really important for children to help around the house and I think it’s good to start this at a young age. My son wants my attention while I’m preparing dinner, maybe I can get him to help! So far we’ve had mixed results but it sure beats a whiney toddler crawling up my leg between kicking and screaming on the kitchen floor! Oh and did I mention this is happening while a pot of water is boiling over or something is burning in the oven that I can’t take out without the risk of my son flopping into a hot oven during a tantrum?! Ugh…terrible twos.
I started off small, buttering toast, stirring things in bowls or putting chopped vegetables in a pot and I discovered my kiddo loves to help! It’s doesn’t always go smoothly, sometimes he’s hungry and eats the bread before he finishes buttering it…the bread that was for my sandwich. Sometimes he licks the spoon and puts it back in the bowl, I watch extra carefully if he’s mixing with raw eggs! But 9/10 times, it’s positive for everyone involved.
Now when I head to the kitchen to get a meal ready, my son runs to the dining room and says “chair”, asking me to bring the chair over to the counter so he can climb up and help. I allow him to use butter knives and his plastic butter knives from IKEA but I would love to get him a set of the Curious Chef Nylon knives for kids to try out!
He’s getting really good at helping now that we’ve been cooking together for a couple of months, he knows the oven and frying pan are hot and is very careful when stirring things in the frying pan (I hold him while he does this, constantly praising him for his carefulness and reminding him that it’s hot). He still sneaks bites and licks and his lunch is often half eaten before we get to the table, but all in all it’s been positive. I can make supper, or whichever meal, without a tantruming child driving me crazy and he feels like part of the process, like a big boy. Meals take longer to cook. There’s more mess. The dogs get more samples. Usually, I don’t allow him to help as much when people out of our immediate family will be eating the food for risks of him licking the spoon or dipping his finger in, but it’s fun having my little guy be my side kick in the kitchen!