Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Cooking with Children :: Mom2Mom

While pregnant with Will, I dreamed of baking cookies, mixing cakes, and rolling out pizza crusts with my children.  In my vision they would wait patiently for their turn to help and we would show Daddy our delicious creations when he came home.

Mom and child cooking sessions fit into my ideal of a mom.

Speaking of ideals, television commercials show mom and child laughing and smiling as they mix cookie batter together.  Print ads imply that mom and child worked as a team to make the beautiful cake in front of them.  There are even magazines that show you step-by-step how to make amazingly elaborate animals from vegetables with your 3 year old.  (OK.  Maybe I exaggerate.  It's really your 4 year old.)

You can't see the 2 year old dipping his hand in the PB jar!

My cooking with children reality looks nothing like the magazines.

I have four pairs of hands eager to grab any spoon and stir.  My children crowd around the bowl making it difficult to measure and pour.  They whine and nag while waiting their turn to help.  And the finished product never looks like the picture in the magazine!

Cooking sessions with my children often leave me frustrated and annoyed.  I underestimate how long it will take.  I constantly tell my 2 year old to put items down.  And in the end I have a huge mess to clean up - with NO dishwasher to help.

Do you also dread cooking with your children?  Or have you learned to involve them in the kitchen without losing your mind?  Let's talk about it in the comments!


Ann said...

I dread it. I force myself to do it. I gave Olivia a cookbook for Christmas, but she's not a very focused cook. So, I am not very good about letting her use it!

Amy said...

LOL! At this point, I tend to cook with my kids only 1 at a time...sometimes it's OK with both of the older 2--but not always. Honestly, I don't cook with too much, but when I do it's 1 on a stool with me and the others off playing and everyone seems happy with that for now.

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

Well now! Of all people I thought you two would really enjoy cooking with your children and patiently teaching them! :) Right now my kids are seldom satisfied to cook one at a time. If I'm doing a project they all want to be involved. The thing that helps me the most is to let go of my perfectionism and embrace the mess and chaos. That's what happened in the pictures for this post. I let Sam dip his hand in the peanut butter jar (it was empty for my purposes) and I just accepted that peanut butter cookies meant a huge mess. We all had fun and everyone ate their weight in dough. I made sure daddy & I had separate, non-child made, cookies to eat. :)

Carrie said...

I confess I do not like cooking with my children. At all. I like just getting the job done without having to offer a kabillion directions and make sure no one is near anything hot, using any utensil incorrectly and rendering the batter/food unusable. I really do ENJOY cooking/baking. Feels like I'm creating something. I'd rather be alone when I'm creating.

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

Carrie, I'm not really a baker - it requires too much precise measuring. But when I am really cooking - not just throwing dinner on the table- I find it fun. I do not find giving a million directions over and over again fun.

Who knew so many moms find cooking with their kids stressful!

Jenn said...

Some days are better than others. We had quite the melt down during christmas cookie baking & decorating! ha. The pics of Addi crying & me just looking on- we had matching aprons on. Definately not the image I had dreamed about! But it's reality & just as memorable. Granted- I only have 1 child.... I was so thankful that she fell asleep while I was decorating her bday cake- she was into everything & wanting to use her fingers to wipe the nicely decorated icing off the cake & eat it! Including the flowers! Anywhos.. right on sister! Quite the adventure!!

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