A couple weeks ago I had an epiphany - NO MORE KIDS COOKING IN THE KITCHEN! I love to cook so I have always tried to invite at least one of my kiddos into the kitchen to help with the cooking. (OK, some of you are already laughing at this crazy idea....you know not all of us are pros at parenting right off the bat!). My thinking; show them how to cook early, get them to enjoy what they are eating and have some family time. But that has never been the case.
My kiddos are now 9, 7, 5 and this (madness) has been going on since my oldest was about 5 years old. Instead of the peaceful scene you see on the Hallmark specials with mom and child cooking in the kitchen I hear, "Mom, it is my turn to make dinner!" as they push each other out of the way or fighting for the spoon as they are arguing, "I was supposed to stir the food!"
So this last weekend my opinion of inviting my kids in the kitchen finally changed. (Well, for the time being.) I was in the process of cooking a simple spaghetti dinner. It started out as normal as can be, noodles in the pan, sauce on the stove, buttering the bread. But in a matter of minutes it turned to chaos.
Ethan (7 year old) "Mom, you said I could help." as he is pushing the 5 year old off the stool.
Bella (5 year old) "Ahhhhh....Wahhhhhhh." as she falls to the ground
Canaan (9 year old) "No, I am in charge." as he pushes his way in front.
Ending in me interrupting, "EVERYONE OUT!"
The dinner was solemn and I spent the evening calming down from our family cooking night flop.
While I lied in bed that night and said my daily prayers, this chaotic event entered my head. "God, please give me the patience to deal with my children in the kitchen and show me what the best way to work together." And then I heard God clear as day. "Why are you inviting them in the kitchen. Let them do some growing up first." Whether this was God actually speaking to me or myself finally growing up as a parent, I immediately laughed to myself and realized there is a place and time for our kids to enter into different situations in life and right now keeping them out of the kitchen will help calm the chaos.
As I get ready for the holidays, of which I enjoy nothing more than family time, I am going to keep the kids out of the kitchen and enjoy some alone time with the garlic, onions and spices - ALONE - Heaven!
So today, I have been in my dream space for the last 8 hours in the kitchen!! (OK, not entirely, I stopped for some time to take care of work, clean the house, feed the kids and even complete a weekend project with the family - but I am still in my PJ's and covered in flour and butter - so I think that counts)
But I have to start the preparation for Thanksgiving feast today so that I can be ready for our family Thanksgiving. See, my family has this habit of thinking we need to eat for hibernation during the Thanksgiving feast.
I just finished making a monster batch of "momma's meatballs" - the kids favorite. They are an new adventure every time. Today literally 6lb of meat, mozzarella, bread, eggs, spices and other yummy stuff will make enough to serve a few dinners through the week. I also made a cake out of Food & Wine magazine and excited to see how it turns out but now need to get the dinner in the oven
The kids have now realized I have stepped away from their sight as I can now hear the "MOM......MOM.........MOM" coming from upstairs so I need to wrap it up and get back to cooking! My favorite time of year!!
Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Cooking!