I never realize what a total control freak I am more than when I’ve pitched a fit about my family’s lack of appreciation for my total martyrdom of a life and insisted they help right this very instant.
Comes back to bite me on the rear every time.
Yesterday, I lost it and talked to my family (some people might say “hollered loudly”) about them taking me for granted and losing my shoes (which, in hindsight, might actually not be their fault. I think those shoes were in the suitcase the airline lost last week. But, I was tired and upset and that spewed out along with the rest of my rant). So, naturally, today my kids are helping out without being asked (which they sometimes do, but is hard to remember when I’m exhausted and in the middle of throwing myself a major pity party).
My kids are making dinner tonight.
That phrase gives every parent chills. A few get them from joyous memories of successful child-made dinners. I get them due to the PTSD from experiences with less than successful such ventures. Much less than successful. And, from the ensuing mountain of paperwork and hours of phone calls with our insurance company.
My youngest asked what was for dinner. When I told him I was going to make tacos, 12 and 13 jumped up and offered to make dinner.
Obviously, I couldn’t say no. I couldn’t let visions of melted cheese dripping down the cabinets and grease fires scorching the ceiling keep me from allowing them to be the helpful people they were striving to be. They offered to help. Cheerfully offered. Clearly, the joy in their hearts was more important than the finish on our cabinets. I think. Probably.
Yes, I made sure the fire extinguishers are ready to go. And, no, I haven’t had a nervous breakdown. Yet. Still plenty of time for that later.
I’m trying to smile and to remain positive. But, I think I’m actually grimacing and developing an aneurysm.
When I insisted my children help more with the day to day needs of our family, I forgot that meant I’d need to face the results of my children helping more with the day to day needs of our family.
Truly, having my kids make dinner is a good thing. It teaches them responsibility. It reminds them to be grateful. It raises my blood pressure. Maybe it’s not a completely good thing.
But, it does sharpen my mind, since there’s always mystery ingredients to figure out while eating one of their meals. If you think street tacos are a gamble, you haven’t had tacos MBC (Made By Children). Any meal produced by kids is bound to have some additives not on the standard recipe. I find it’s best not to ask too many questions. And, to keep 911 on speed dial.
Of course, when my kids do the cooking there’s no reason for me to stress out about washing the pots and pans. The whole kitchen needs power-washing after they’re done anyway. A couple metal vessels pale in comparison to that. Might have to power wash our whole downstairs. One time, they even trashed our van while helping make dinner.
Child-prepared dinners are always casual, too. Casual is relaxing, right? No serving dish necessary. The food is already “artfully” presented all over the stove, counter, floor, and ceiling. I assume dessert will be served dripping down the stairs.
Conveniently, during the whole kids-cooking-process, the dog is always fed. Very well fed. So well, in fact, he needs to spend the night in our backyard to facilitate his sudden, urgent off-loading needs, which are likely to present themselves repeatedly throughout the night.
Wondering how many body parts were scratched during the dinner creation process is a natural appetite suppressant. So, I have no trouble limiting my serving size during child-prepared meals, making noshing on a child-created dinner a big help with my New Year’s resolution diet.
And, while my kids are cooking is a great time to inventory of our kitchen. Every cupboard and drawer, as well as the refrigerator and freezer, will be left open, making for easy analysis of their contents during the food preparation time, and very likely most of the evening after dinner, as well.
Dinner conversation is always effortless when my kids make dinner. Between the food conquest claims by the young chefs and the concerns of the diners, all conversational opportunities will be filled, both during dinner and afterward during any indicated visits to the ER.
My kids multitask while preparing dinner, giving our kitchen floor a new, decorative design and foot-grabbing, non-slip surface. Safety is important, right?
And, I’m certain surviving the meal will qualify me to be an excellent candidate to appear on Kitchen Impossible or, more likely, Dr. Phil.
The best benefit of all, though, whenever our kids make dinner is the next day my husband always utters those three little words I so love to hear:
“Let’s eat out.”
Laugh Out Loud!
How helpful are the helpers around your place? Do you wish you had more help? Or, less? I’m looking forward to hearing all about it. Shoot me a comment.
Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission.