She got to help decorate her birthday cake.
How excited do you think she was? I must admit, I still pause when she asks me if she can help. I’m used to this little girl who wanted to help so badly only to cause a bigger mess to clean up. She can reach the counter without a stool. She can carefully add M&M’s without touching the frosting and gel to make the fins and tails. She is growing up and I need to let her.
How do we let our children help us in the kitchen? I’m sure for some of you, it is easy. But if you are like me, it is harder. After all:
- I just want to get it done
- I don’t want the extra mess
- If I let you, then your siblings will want to help too
- If your siblings help too, then that means more mess, more arguments and less patience for me
I’ve come to realize what I am making doesn’t have to be perfect. The frosting doesn’t have to be picturesque. The pancakes don’t have to be perfectly round or the floor spotless. Sure, there are occasions when those things ARE important, but are they all the time?
The other day, Cora wanted to help me make pancakes. I said sure, but inside I was thinking: everyone has to leave in an hour. I don’t have time for lessons! You know what? She was a huge help! I made the batter, she cooked the pancakes on the griddle. After I explained the whole “flip the pancake when you see bubbles” theory, she went to town doing the whole batch. It freed me up to do other things like setting the table and making the eggs.
I encourage you this Christmas season to let your children bake with you in the kitchen. Choose an easy recipe to start with. Let them learn kitchen rules and baking secrets. I will be posting Christmas cookie and candy ideas. Hopefully you will inspired and try some yourself! Send in a picture of what you and your child made together. I’m not looking for perfection, just fun!