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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Mama's Helper

I am slowly getting the hang of having a little girl who is dying to help in the kitchen. This is quite a switch from begging my son to do one thing, then having to holler at him to come back and do the next thing because he disappears as soon as he (thinks he) is done.

I have worked very conscientiously at letting Olivia "help" even when that was the last thing she was doing. And the thing is, already at the age of four, she is, truly, often helpful. It may take her 30 minutes to fill the muffin pans, for instance, but she keeps at it. And that's 30 minutes that I can use to clean up and/or otherwise do something else. Like, oh, write in this blog. Just to, you know, arbitrarily throw something out there.

Today she caught me getting ready to dice some green pepper, something I have never let her do because it requires a sharper knife. I hesitated, then I thought of pioneer women in the wild west who were married and having babies by the time they were, like, thirteen. By the age of four they were probably not only using sharp knives but were dropping the fresh-cut vegetables directly into a boiling cauldron over an open fire ready to stitch up any gashes they might incur with a needle and thread before dousing it with some hard liquor they kept handy just for such medicinal purposes.

So I showed her a safe technique and gave her the knife.

She kept at it for at least 30 minutes and cut up the whole darn thing.

Then she washed my teapot.

And then this is what she said. Really. I wrote it down as soon as it came out of her mouth. You know you're a blogger when... and all that.

"Next time, when it's time for you to do the dishes, call me and I'll do the dishes. Because I love to do dishes. And I came just in time, right?"

Don't you all wish you had an Olivia?

Any tips on how to best utilize this stage before it's gone will be heartily welcomed.


the dragonfly said...

How precious! You are a lucky mom.

I love the "in pioneer times" section, made me laugh out loud. :)

Be Inspired Always said...

Enjoy it while it lasts :)

That's great that she wants to be like her Mom, it just shows your a good role model, and she actually thinks doing dishes is fun!


Anonymous said...

I really need to let my little girl help me in the kitchen more. I've gotta get over the whole "It's easier to just do it myself" thing. She's eight, and she still loves to do the dishes, so...there's hope!

Jerilyn said...

I told Susan your request for tips and she said "Three words - praise and thanks". I'd say let her help almost every time she wants to (except for hot stuff; it's just not worth taking the chance). But don't make her help too often when she doesn't want to. That last bit will be moot (and reversed) in a few years and you'll wonder where these years went.

A Military Spouse said...

Wow, susan must live inside my head. Only I have to add the part about shooing her out of the kitchen when I need her help more by playing with her little brother.