Today I learned that, contrary to what one might think, “craft time” is not a good way to keep a toddler busy while you prepare dinner. Yes, after helping William with the cutting of his paper pieces, I thought, Why am I just standing here watching him do this when I could be making supper while he is occupied with his craft? Pleased with the prospect of chopping vegetables without having to beware of little snitching fingers, or measuring ingredients and following recipes properly rather than having someone dump random things together unexpectedly, or enjoying the simplicity of stirring a pot without surrendering to demands of, “I wanna do it!” and “I wanna see!” I trotted off to the computer to print off the recipe I had selected earlier. No sooner had I done so, when I thought, What’s that noise? It was the sound of the entire contents of a large de-capped bottle of Elmer’s Glue glugging onto the paper and the table. Thank goodness for plastic scrapers, and funnels, and Mr. Rogers, for with their help I was at last chopping onions and measuring spices, albeit after spending more time and effort than my original plan had intended to save.
The charm of cooking with a toddler has definitely worn off. I wish I could offer some great advice about how to churn out a wholesome, delicious meal every night with two little ones nipping at your heels (speaking quite literally of Titus one day. Ankle Biter.), but no. I’d love it if I could recommend a recipe that’s really good for making with a little helper, but nothing in particular comes to mind. As much as I want to be an encouragement here, to be some wonderful refuge and resource on the web for being a better wife, mother, homemaker: I’m not. This is no portrait of humility I’m trying to paint either. To be quite honest, I used to love cooking and eating good food, but now most days I find it a major chore that I’d rather avoid. Last week, feeling entirely defeated, I told Sam I wished we didn’t have to shop or cook or eat anything unless we wanted to. I love my kiddos more than anything, but I sometimes feel as though they’ve stolen a hobby that I was really rather fond of. So, I guess all I have to say is, if you’re out there feeling the pang of dread at the thought of cooking dinner tonight, you’re not alone. I find it helps in some way to laugh at my misfortunes. And to thank the Lord for washable glue.