Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Look out!!! There's a Toddler in the Kitchen!

If you have ever tried cooking with a toddler you probably already know this, but if you haven’t this is definitely something you should know.  Your toddler probably doesn’t really care what the food will taste like or look like when it is done.  What is important to them is being able to feel it and play with it while you are preparing it and cooking it.  I would say that I learned this the hard way if that were not a total lie.  In fact, I assumed that this would be the case.   I just didn’t imagine that I would create a cooking monster out of my baby boy.

It all started when I allowed the little man to knead some bread dough a month or so ago.  Naively, I thought that it would be harmless fun.   “What could go wrong?” I thought.  Well, nothing did then, but now I can foresee problems arising in the future.   Today I made the mistake of leaving our flour bin on the edge of the counter because I thought I would make some fresh bread.  Well…the little man decided he was going to jump for it and pull it off the counter.  Yep, the top popped off of the bin and a bit of flour spilled out onto our kitchen floor.  Then my little dobber started doing the cutest thing ever.  He started trying to knead the flour into dough right there on the floor.  If the camera had charged batteries there would have been an abundance of photo’s to share with you, but, as it turns out, I never charged them after the last photo taking session, so you are going to have to trust me that it was adorable.

What made the whole experience that much more endearing was the fact that he had previously upended our dogs’ water bowl, which helped to give the allusion that the little man magically made flour turn into a semi-dry dough.  What can I say, the kid is a warlock or something.  Soon he will be giving me tips and advice on bread making and hopefully in other avenues of cooking as well.  He seems very interested in it so far.  One of the main problems that I have with such an interest is that it could prove to be dangerous.  I don’t want him to burn himself or burn the house down or anything, but I don’t want to stifle his curiosity in cooking either.   That might ruin it for him for a long time.  So, for the time being I guess I am stuck walking a thin line between encouraging him and his creativity and allowing him to be in a situation that might be potentially dangerous.  I want him to have fun and try out things in the kitchen, but I cannot afford to be  too lax because that could be devastating.  Luckily he is still really little and cannot reach any burners or open the oven doors, but he is growing so quickly that that will be a reall problem soon.  That means that I am going to have to go to the hardware store soon to purchase some locks and safety covers for the stove and the refrigerator.  I am all about him playing in the kitchen with me, but I am not going to take any chances either. 

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