Now He’s Cooking

I spent the evening helping the boy learn how to make lasagna. Not a fancy recipe. We used ground beef and sausage, a couple jars of marina sauce, and shredded our own cheeses. I opted for cottage cheese over ricotta because… well, because I’m cheap.

Making_Lasagna_1

Cooking the noodles was easy, and he did a great job of stirring together the cottage cheese, eggs, and freshly grated Parmesan. He even chopped up a little parsley. He integrated the layers as I scooped the various ingredients into the dish. He really enjoyed smoothing out the stuff with a spatula. He sang a song as he worked, describing what he was doing in his “spatula song.” I couldn’t help but enjoy his enthusiasm.

It’s fun to see things through your kid’s eyes sometimes. So much of daily life as an adult is repetition, rote movements that we walk through like robots. I’ve made lasagna a hundred times. For me, it’s just a functional activity. I only do it because it makes tasty food. For my son, each step was a totally new adventure, a tiny new piece of Life to be learned. He devoured it all, gleefully. He’s even already applying other cooking techniques that he learned previously. It’s a special treat to see it start to come together for him.

And, of course, he made some beautiful lasagna.

Making_Lasagna_2

I encourage everyone to cook with your kids. It’s a great together activity and they learn one of the most valuable life skills that exists. And, you get to enjoy cooking for a bit yourself.

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Just Ribbing

Danger Monkey, age 10: “What are you doing?”

Me: “I’m making a dry rub.”

DM: “What’s that?”

Me: “It’s a yummy mix of brown sugar and some spices that I’ll be literally rubbing onto a rack of ribs here in a couple minutes.”

DM: “Whoa, ribs for dinner! Cool!”

Me: “Wanna help make the ribs? I’ll teach you everything I know.”

DM: “Nah, but I’ll help eat it. I already know how how to do that.”

Parenting. Sigh.

Parenthood is holding your sobbing children as you tell them their cat died, and having a big family cry pile on the couch, and being strong for them as you help them plan a memorial service.

Parenthood is listening to them crying themselves to sleep upstairs and not running up to comfort them because we’d all just get upset again.

Parenthood is knowing it’s better to tell them the truth up front even though it hurts, and letting them face this head on now because you know it will help them be better prepared for real life.

Parenthood sucks sometimes.