The thing is, I don’t love to cook. I like to cook, and I love good food, and there are limits to what our budget and health will withstand when it comes to eating out. Also, the challenge of creating “real” [read: stuff we usually buy pre-packaged] from raw ingredients does suck me in from time to time. Therefore, there’s a lot of cooking going on around here.
Usually, I like to plow through and cook as quickly as possible with minimum interruptions — no mean feat with two kids around. Now that they’re a little older, they really want to “help”. Oh, boy. How I wish I was one of those easygoing moms that invites their kids into the process and just lets the good times roll, but I’m not. But I’m trying, because what is the rush? I mean, aside from the obvious, which is that we don’t want to eat at nine o’clock. There’s just this nagging voice in my head that I’m always rushing and the days are running together and then — poof!– one day they’ll be big, and won’t want to help, and there’s no going back. (Uplifting thought, no?)
On top of that, one of the main things we want our kids to understand is that life is work. It’s hard to get that message across when you never train them to work. It’s also hard to get that message across before you’ve fully absorbed it yourself, but whatever.
With all of these things in mind, I’ve started letting my little apprentices in on the action on the days when time allows (which is to say: Thursday, and maybe Friday for the girl. Not all that often.)
And it doesn’t literally take all day; it’s more like two hours plus prep time. “What Used to Take an Hour Now Takes Three” just doesn’t have the same ring to it, but it’s definitely more accurate. Besides, it feels like all day, but it is pretty fun. And, after all, how can a person who decided on a whim to try making crackers complain about there not being enough time?