Now We’re Cooking…

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Until about 18 months ago,  I never cooked.  My repertoire consisted of breakfast foods & I was lovingly dubbed “The Frozen Food Queen” by my family.  I could bake up a storm, but if it wasn’t microwavable or came in a box that required nothing more than opening a can of tuna…it was not going to appear on anyone’s plate.

The reasons for this were many:

  1. My grandmothers both made me baker’s helper from the time I could walk.
  2. My mother always shoo’ed me out of the kitchen while cooking.
  3. My mother was terrified of us kids even making a sandwich with a butter knife.
  4. My mother’s OCD tendencies did not allow for us to leave a crumb in sight.  (Funny, I married her male counterpart, huh?)
  5. I could not possibly conceive of having more than one thing “going” at a time.  It seemed like utter chaos to me.

I should mention that the chaos thing follows me.  I have the Chaos Arrows tattooed on my right arm.  It is ever-present in my life.  I can NOT function in chaos.  I shut down.  I need order, but I have a hard time keeping order.  The minute I get a hint of things (house, work, kids) getting out of order, instead of fixing it, I shut down and then it becomes a mountain.

But enough about all that…That’s just background.  Here’s what I REALLY wanted to talk about.

What Do You Do When Your AS Munchkins Start Cooking – Unsupervised?

About 18 months ago I started cooking.  The kids were coming to Germany.  I got re-married.  I wanted to take care of everyone.  Turns out, I’m kinda good at it.  I treat it like a puzzle.  I LOVE puzzles.

So does Max.  Max and I are very much alike in many ways.  The whole order/chaos thing.  Well, there are a lot of parallels…

From the time he was born, Max was always very deliberate.  When he was 2 & Madison was 3 1/2 we went to the swimming pool at our hotel.  I would not let go of Madison, but Max didn’t worry me.  He watched every step and I knew he wouldn’t accidentally fall in.  Madison, on the other hand, would watch everywhere BUT where he was going.  (He still does!)

Max has started cooking.  He’s a regular Egg-Aficionado!  He’s woken me up to a plate full of delicious eggs.  I’ve asked him not to cook while Mommy isn’t there to watch, but tonight I realized he’s still been doing it.

I went to get eggs for the dinner I was making and we were out.

I am completely overcome with pride and absolute fear at the same time.  Pride because he loves doing it and feels good about it.  Absolute fear because if something went wrong – Max would shut down.  Just like when the TV comes on too loud on a static channel.  Suddenly, he can’t find the remote.  He can only clamp his hands over his ears and rock.

I want to foster EVERY SINGLE THING he is good at.  I don’t want him to get hurt.

Is my own need for control stifling him?  Or am I just being a cautious parent?  Thoughts?  Ideas?  Compromises?

*NOTE: I realized halfway through that I had neglected to state the ages of my kids.  Morgan is 14, Madison is 13 and Max is 11.

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