Have them help you.
I forget this lesson often, usually when little people are whining and tired and ‘I really wanna watch tv’ and I’m tired too and dinner needs to be made quickly and and and….
Well, I need to get out of that habit. I haven’t made toddler sushi with my nine year old in ages (or with my four year old at all, I don’t think). This past weekend, before I left for a week-long work trip, I made spending time with my clingy daughter a priority, to hopefully make those ‘please don’t go, Mommy!’ pleas not hurt quite as bad. And because we needed to use up the two pecks of peaches I bought mid-week with a neighbor, peach pie was on the menu. Yum.
This time of year, fresh local peaches are ripe, delicious – and easy to slice with a table knife. Perfect for a helpful little person not particularly good at watching her fingers when slicing peaches:
Measuring and dumping is also easy for kids (we even successfully grated fresh nutmeg while not grating any fingers), with different colors of stuff going into the mix to jazz things up. Giving input to the pattern on the top of the pie – a wobbly star, this time – also added to the fun.
Here’s the end result of our peach weekend: pie, peach bourbon jam, and peach halves canned with local honey syrup.
This process of encouraging help might have worked a little too well. After eating almost all the jam that didn’t fit in a jar…
…she still had enough room to put away two pieces of pie. Great! She’ll eat what she helps to make! I have succeeded as a parent (especially one who doesn’t mind if her kids eat pie for breakfast since I know there’s a ton of fruit and not much sugar)! I left for my work trip secure in the knowledge that this life lesson was a good one.
And then I offered a slice of pie to a friend, who contacted my husband to sort out the pie delivery details on facebook: