Welcome to my Weblog!
Welcome to 1 Mother 2 Another! To read my most recent weblog entries, scroll down. To read entries from one category, click the links at right. To read my journey from the beginning, click here. To find out more about me, click here.
Top 5s
Short on time? Click here to go to my Top 5s Page - links to my top five recommendations in every category from Breastfeeding Sites to Urban Living Solutions.

Little Miss Childs

As I near the holiday baking finish line, I’m amazed at how different this year is from last year.

Last year I had a six-month-old, incapable of independent motion. This year it’s an 18-month-old who won’t stand still. And both have their pros and cons.

With a six-month-old, I could simply strap her into her bouncy seat and go. On the plus side, I didn’t have to chase after her; on the down side, she would quickly tire of the seat and cry and fuss, so my kitchen engagements were carefully spaced out.

Now that Maddie’s older, I have to keep an eye on my wandering minstrel, but she’s capable – and happy to- entertain herself for long stretches of time, so I find myself with much more unhurried baking time on my hands.

In fact, my main distraction while cooking is that Maddie is insanely curious; if she’s playing in the kitchen while I work, I hear a near-constant stream of “Up! Up!” from her general direction. She loves for me to hold her so she can see what’s going on while I work, and it’s led me to get her more involved in cooking.

For a long time, I’ve let Maddie sniff ingredients while I add them to a recipe. Cinnamon – which she likes on just about everything, from applesauce to yogurt to toast – is one of her favorites, and I have to stop her every time from trying to drink the vanilla extract (though I can’t say as I blame her!) She loves sniffing the separate ingredients, then smelling the dough and seeing how that ingredient has changed the mix. She’s become so fond of sniffing fresh ingredients that she often doesn’t know when to stop; just the other day we were at our green market and she spied a bunch of fresh basil. “Ba-bi!” she cried. “Yes, basil,” I acknowledged; we’d just used the last of our garden’s crop in some spaghetti sauce. Leaning over, she sniffed rapturously. “Eat! Eat! Mouth! Mouth!” she said imperiously, pointing to her mouth. She hasn’t learned that with spices, a little goes a long way.

She also enjoys “helping” cook: I let her stir a bowl of dough or a pot of spaghetti sauce, or even “hold” and “push” the hand-held mixer. No matter where she is in the house, if she hears a stand mixer, blender, or food processor kick on, she comes running and begs to be able to see. Sometimes I’ll bring a stool over and let her sit and watch while I work, but then of course there’s the constant policing on my part to make sure she doesn’t stick her hands in, well, anything.

Her fascination with cooking has definitely influenced her Christmas presents this year, as well. Don’t tell her, but Santa’s bringing a little kitchen set-up so she can have her “own” stove, etc. And family and friends are getting in on the act, giving her pretend food and cooking gear. On my part, I’ve been saving up small Tupperware and containers for a few months so she’ll have some “real” items for her kitchen.

Will she grow up to be the next Julia Childs? I dunno. Hopefully, she’ll grow up to enjoy cooking and baking the way I do, the way I learned from my grandmother and mother. Right now, all I know is that she’s a whiz in the kitchen with a spatula and a colander.


Post a Comment

House Rules

Here are the rules for posting comments on 1mother2another.com. Posting a comment that violates these rules will result in the comment’s deletion, and you’ll probably be banned from commenting in the future.

1) Register first. If you would like to post a comment, you must create an account with us. Check out the home page to do so.

2) Constructive comments only. If you cannot maintain a respectful tone in your posting, even in disagreement, your comment will be deleted. We’re all trying to find our way in this thing and are struggling to be the best moms we can. If you disagree with something I say, feel free to politely email me. If you disagree with another reader’s posting, you’re welcome to kindly post in reply. Vitriolic diatribes will be deleted. This site is about encouraging and supporting, not tearing down and chastising.

3) Questions welcomed. If an entry raises a question, you’re welcome to email me directly or post it. Keep in mind that postings will result in public replies by strangers and not just me.

4) Don’t steal. All original writings contained within this website are under copyright protection. If you link to us, please credit us as your source and provide a link back to our website. If you're interested in using an excerpt in published material, please contact us.

5) Share your photos! We'd love to have photos from our registered readers to show on our home page under "Maddie's friends". Email us a jpeg of your little one's best photo to photos@1mother2another.com. Please, no photos from professional photographers which fall under copyright protection.