Taking care of business

IMG_5009Shop. Prep. Cook. Clean. These four things are usually on my to-do list each day. So it makes sense that I enlist a little help. And believe it or not, J is starting to become a little bit helpful. She loves to pull the basket at the grocery store, put (read: toss) the groceries into the basket while learning the names of each item that goes in, and carry some of the light things home. The other day, she even asked a store clerk (unprompted) where we could find dried apples. How’s that for taking initiative?

Once it’s time to prep, I always try to think of ways to include her in the kitchen – which is tough for a person like me who doesn’t really love other people in the kitchen, especially my little galley kitchen. But it’s worth it to teach her about food and to spend time with her. Things like putting cut veggies into pots, mashing potatoes or avocados, seasoning meats and fish, and assembling salads are perfect given her age. And it’s cool because she’s really starting to get a sense of what ingredients go with what. Plus we watch a fair amount of food network, so she might very well be the next food network star!

Most evenings she sets the table (something she takes a lot of pride in these days), and the other day she even dried the dishes for me! This is actually pretty helpful, so I’m happy that she’s eager to help…

We’re still kind of working on the cleaning part.  She tries to clean mirrors and sometimes she swiffers, but let’s be honest, I have to redo most of the things she cleans.  I have all but abandoned the dream of living in a clean house at this stage in my life. It kind of stresses me out. I like order, and I enjoy cleaning. I try to tidy-as-we-go throughout the day by creating play zones (a painting zone, a chalkboard zone, a blocks zone… you get the idea) – that way once one game or project is done we can put things away and move to the next zone. I say “try” because some days it just looks like a bomb went off in my place. I’m sure that most parents can relate to this. You know, you take your eye off the ball for just a second and poof! purple paint on the table, cinderella is swimming in the toilet and there’s something sticky in between your toes…origin unknown. Goooood times!  But most days are pretty great, and I’m enjoying teaching these new skills. I’m hopeful that the time I’m investing now will earn me a couple mornings of breakfast in bed. One day…

IMG_4829  Enjoy the rest of the week,  and if you’re in the mood for a some classic comfort food for the weekend give this mac and cheese a try! We’ll be making it again and again.

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