Someone in our house has been Mr Independent since turning 3. This means: toilet training (‘no mummy, get out, stand outside the door, I don’t need help’); getting dressed (debatable as sometimes he’ll do it, other times he’s thinking about other things he won’t), and mealtime independence has to be top of the list.
N loves food, and he enjoys being part of the meal experience. He’ll sometimes help out with mixing, chopping, or setting the table, but mostly it’s the actually setting out the food and mealtimes that he wants to be involved with.
Breakfast’s a bit odd in our house. The OH goes out to work early for a couple of hours, then has breakfast at the farm before coming to say good morning and hang out with N while I get showered and dressed. Then N has 3 days a week where he has breakfast at nursery, so it’s only the other days he has breakfast at home. Or that’s the theory.
Because N is always hungry, so there’s no way he can wait until 8am to get food. Sometimes his dad’ll get N some food before he heads back out to work, but usually I’ll come downstairs to find N has dragged a chair over to the fridge or cupboards and has helped himself to a drink of squash (thankfully he’s now realised that you don’t drink it neat, so he’ll then add water from the cloakroom tap as he can’t reach the kitchen tap – bleurgh), a croissant (complete with chopping it up into pieces that he’ll eat with a spoon – probably dropping all the bits on the living room floor in the meantime) or a yoghurt (which of course he won’t eat in the pot, so it gets poured into a bowl).
The other day I thought his dad had buttered him some raisin bread already, but I could smell it toasted. I rushed downstairs to find N had toasted 2 pieces of raisin bread, had got one out of the toaster, and was waving a knife around wanting me to get the second piece out. Luckily he’d not stuck the knife in the toaster, so I had to lecture him on never doing that before buttering his toast for him.
At other mealtimes he’s very precise about what he wants. The right plate – we can never win. Usually he insists on having one of the big Denby plates and normal sized cutlery, but sometimes he’ll moan because we’ve not got out ‘his’ small ones.
Dinner, he has to serve himself potato and veg if they’re in serving bowls on the table. Sometimes, he’ll even want to serve his own pasta – it takes ages, but It’s great that he wants to be independent, and that he’s pretty tidy at doing so. Now all I need is for him to be able to actually butter his toast or bread, and I’ll never have to make a lunchbox again! Apart from having to police his cheese slicing…at the moment it’s cutting off half the block!
What have you caught your children trying to eat or cook?