I am not the type of mom who typically cooks with her kids. Generally speaking, I am a very patient person, I'm just not that patient! When it comes to every day meals, I want to get in, and get it done, with out the fuss and the mess of involving the kids. In fact most days they aren't even allowed in the kitchen while I'm cooking. Some days I make an exception, however.
This afternoon, Lucas asked for Mac N Cheese for lunch. Nico asked if he could make it, and I was feeling rather patient, so I agreed. Of course Lucas also wanted to make it, and they do not work well together in these types of situations. So I had two chairs pulled up to my stove, two pots of water boiling, and two boys happily stirring two boxes of Mac N Cheese. My kids were in heaven, cooking their own lunches.
Don't get the wrong idea. My kids are no strangers to the kitchen. They routinely go in to grab snacks, drinks, and have been fixing their own sandwiches and cereal for a while now. But they only get to use the stove on rare occasions.
Lightening struck twice today, because later Lucas asked if he could sit and watch me cook dinner. Still feeling patient, I agreed, and he pulled up his chair as I began dicing tomatoes. He asked if he could smash the tops when I was done, and I saw no reason to say no (I already had a mess to clean up after all). So after I was done with the cutting board, I handed him a mallet, and as the steak was cooking, he happily pounded away at the tomato tops. When he was done, Nico took his place, pounding those tomatoes flat.
Today was one of those days where I really felt connected to unschooling. I said yes, when I would normally say no, and things turned out alright. I like to think I can make that happen more often, but tomorrow they will probably be banished from the kitchen again.