I love to cook. I love to cook for my family, my friends, and myself. For me, cooking for you is how I show you that I care–so if you’ve been the recipient of my baked goods, that is why! (If you haven’t, it’s probably because you don’t live near me…)
When my nieces and nephews were younger, I used to love getting them to help me with child-friendly foods.
Ale used to help me all the time too! This was mainly because she was always underfoot–I could put her up on the counter, and she would happily play with spoons, measuring cups, and rice. Sometimes, she would be TOO happy, and I quickly learned to be careful what was within her reach. I
When Ale was around a year and a half/ two years old, I bought her a cheap kitchen from the local store. We put it in the kitchen with me, and she would “cook” while I cooked. To be honest, Ale still plays with her kitchen! She makes baby food for her dolls and pretend food for us.
This week I planned our menu before grocery shopping. We are eating around the world: Sushi, Pizza, Tacos, Beans and Cornbread. Last night was a pizza night, and Ale asked to help me. Pizza is easy, right? It’s the perfect recipe to cook with a kid!
But Kid#2 also decided to help. She’s really selfish with Mama right now, and wants to do everything Big Sis does.
So, there I was: One kid in one chair, another kid in another chair, me in the middle and all of our pizza goodies on the table in front of us. Ale is super careful now when she helps me, and I take that for granted. But Jojo had holes in the dough, hands in the sauce, and stole the package of pepperoni after we put some on her pizza.
I gathered up all the ingredients and stored them as quickly as I could in the kitchen.
Not quick enough.
“Mama! Josie’s making a mess!” I heard from the other room. Jojo had the flour, and had poured about a cup of it out onto the table. She saw me, grinned, then began smearing her hand through it with the finesse of a window washer.
It was that moment that I realized I had two options: 1) Holler and try in vain to stop the disaster that was my table and floor OR 2) Let her have fun with the flour.
I chose fun.