Yesterday I had a good morning. And I just wanted to share it with you. Because maybe it will help you have a good morning like this someday, too.
One of the things the kids love to do is help out in the kitchen. But it can be painful.
They can take so long to do things, they make a mess, and they don’t do things the “right” way.
But yesterday the fruits of my kitchen labor (or patience) paid off. Yesterday Number 5, 6, and 7 made pancakes for breakfast without any help from me.
Actually that’s not totally true.
I was in the kitchen mixing up the batter when the kids saw what I was doing and asked if they could help.
So they didn’t make the batter. But they did do everything else, and all the times I let the kids help out here and there in the kitchen finally came together.
Number 5 (8 years old), Number 7, (6 years old) and Number 6 (7 years old) are all pretty self sufficient around the stove now. They are safe and they are adept, and I don’t worry about them burning themselves or doing something careless.
It was Number 5 and 7 who initially came into the kitchen and asked if they could help. I gave them full control and responsibility.
So they pulled up a couple stools, and together they decided that one of them would pour the batter in the pan and the other one would do the flipping.
They would each make two pancakes that way, and then they would switch jobs.
Number 7 loves to do that pancake smashing thing that kind of drives me crazy, but whatever. I let it go.
It took a while for them to make any progress because Number 5 kept eating each one as soon as they came out of the pan.
But again, whatever. They tasted good and they liked them. so that’s all I really cared about.
Since the girls were making the pancakes, I was able to do something else. While they were pouring and flipping and eating, I peeled and cut the apples and got them onto the stove to make applesauce.
After about 15 minutes, Number 6 wandered into the kitchen. He wanted to help, too.
Number 5 had abandoned her spot, and Number 7 wanted to eat a pancake or two, so she buttered the pan for Number 6, and then she went to eat, leaving Number 6 on pouring and flipping duty.
He was trying to make fancy pancake designs. They were a mess, but he was experimenting and having fun, they still tasted the same and he was excited to eat them.
Number 6 finished off the batter while the apples cooked, and I was able to clean up and do a couple other things.
Here is their finished plate of pancakes.
Do they look perfect?
But the kids proved just how capable they are, they were helping me out without actually realizing it, they were developing independence and feeling really proud of themselves, they were contributing to the entire family, and, equally importantly, the were actually making my life easier.
It was a great morning, working alongside my kids in the kitchen.
And it all happened because I’ve been giving them opportunities and teaching them in the kitchen, little by little, here and there.
A bucket fills drop by drop.
The next time your kids ask if they can help you, let them.
And then keep doing it.
It may be excruciatingly painful in the moment at times.
But eventually it will all come together, and when it does, you can sit back and finally enjoy a cup of coffee — without ever having to reheat it — while your kids take care of you.