Tuesday, July 3

Daddies Little Helper

As The Sprite has gotten older and more confident, he has got more independant and stubborn too. But he has also show a great willingness to help. He is so keen to help in fact, it is increasingly difficult to actually get anything done. From flushing the toilet to pulling up ones pants, Young Master G is there to lend a hand. Need to bring the newspaper in from the street, we have a (two-year-old) man on the job. Dishes need putting away, The Sprite is there (under my feet) to assist me.

Now don't think I'm ungrateful. I'm actually trying to enjoy every minute of this willingness while it lasts. How long before I am asking, begging, pleading GSM to help take some trash out or tidy his room? How long before eagerness to help is replaced by eagerness to sit-on-his-lazy-arse-watching-Spiderman-cartoons-and the-rest-of-you-can-fuck-right-off. It is with this thought in mind I tolerate tripping over him as I haul 50lb trash barrels out to the kerb, whilst he 'helps' me.

But there are some aspects of the helpfulness that are quite fun, and educational for the lad. He now has to make his own peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Sure, it takes 30 minutes to make one slice of bread, but hey, he is showing initiative and learning. He also has to make his own mashed potatoes, which have become the defacto meal of choice for our healthy little bean. No, I don't make him boil his own potatoes and stand there mashing them by hand. Why go to that trouble when there are processed, nutriton-free flakes in a box.

It goes like this: first we have to drag a chair in from the dining room, all by himself of course, until he trips over the threshold. Once the chair is in place in front of the counter and The Sprite is in position upon it, he will tell me the ingredients to get, in order.

"First, we have to get hot water" Which I get and he pours into the glass bowl I set before him.

"And next, we have to get butter, just butter" Which I help him scoop into the hot water.

"Okay, mix it 'till it melts"

"Yes, mix it, mix it. Next we have to get sot" So I go fetch the salt and shake some in.

"And then, and then, and then, we get cheese" So I let him grab a fistful of grated cheese, some of which makes it into the bowl for a hearty mix.

"And get milk. Milk in the batter, milk in the batter..." He recites a line from In The Night Kitchen, a favourite book of his.

"And get 'tatoes, can I pour it" Which he does, adding the flakes to the mix. We stir it up for a while then add more grated cheese to the top. Finally I take him over to his booster seat and he sits and shovels cheese and potaoes into his mouth.

The great thing is that now he has this sense of ownership, this investment in the process, he is more inclined to actually eat the stuff. Before we had this little routine, he was not interested in the mash. Now if I could get him to invest in some real veggies. Maybe I need a vegetable garden out back.

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