I’ve been planning to write about finding my balance with where I am in life and being in a good place, but starting about a week ago, Gabriel turned some corner into a [hopefully short-lived] developmental stage known as “Horrible.” I’m pretty sure it manifested before his fall, but I’m not positive, and I can’t help but wonder if he knocked a few screws loose.
Anyway, he’s been very clingy and needy, making it difficult for me to get much of anything done, but it’s been particularly frustrating in the kitchen. Turns out, it’s rather difficult to chop vegetables with a large, sharp knife, and deal with hot pans on the stove-top and in the oven, when a fussy toddler is pulling on your legs, shirt, etc. Not to mentioned dangerous.
I gave up before I started on a couple of evenings, too sapped from dealing with him earlier in the day and anticipating his antics to even try. Leftovers to the rescue!
At my MIL’s suggestion, I tried putting him in his booster seat with some toys while I cooked (farinata, with a side of sweet potatoes and turnip greens, if you were wondering) last night, and it went surprisingly well.
Despite my misgivings about confining him like that, he actually seemed content to be sitting in the kitchen doing his own thing, playing and babbling with very little input from me, in contrast to the frantic whining and wrapping himself around my legs of previous afternoons.
Eventually, I plan to let him help more in the kitchen, but we’re not quite there yet. Last week, I experimented with helping him stand on a chair and sift flour and stir the dry ingredients for raw apple cake.
It went well — flour more or less stayed in the bowl, he didn’t fall of the chair and crack his head on the tile flour, and he seemed to enjoy helping. However, it required very close and constant supervision on my part, definitely not something I have time for every night.
If any of you have suggestions for occupying young toddlers while cooking and/or safe ways (easy and not TOO messy would be great, also) to involve toddlers in the kitchen, I’d love to hear them.