Thursday, 31 May 2012

Pretend Cooking: A cautionary tale

I'm going to refer you back to a pretend cooking activity that Rory and I did several months ago.  I blogged about it here in my 'things to do with your child' series (haven't done one of them for ages. Must pull finger out and actually do something with child other than dance around living room in our pants and watch Numtums).  We've had several outings of the dried lentils and kitchen utensils since then and he still loves it, although it doesn't hold his attention for as long any more.

Cut to Tuesday.  Due to Circumstances Beyond My Control, I'd let work build up a bit and deadlines were fast approaching.  I needed to get some writing done quite desperately.  Now, I can do admin with Rory in the house - no problem - but trying to write a feature while he jibber jabbers at me is nigh on impossible.  Only one thing for it: it was time to provide him with an activity that would keep him quiet and busy for at least half an hour while I bashed away at the keyboard.

The sort of activity that keeps Rory quiet and busy tends to be messy in the extreme.  This was no problem - we've recently progressed to doing pretend cooking with added water.  A couple of old towels on the floor contains all the mess so it only takes 5 minutes to clear up.  He loves it.

An earlier culinary adventure. Yes, he's still in his pyjamas. Judge me, go on.

So, I gamely set out the towels and the saucepans and the spoons and the whisks and the Tupperware pots full of out of date things from the kitchen cupboards.  His ingredients for the day were water, flour, brown sugar, mixed herbs, instant mash flakes and Coco Pops.  He threw himself into it with a whoop of joy and I cracked on with my article.

After about 20 minutes of peace and quiet, I could tell that he was getting restless, so I gave up and saved my work.  As I'd hoped, all the mess was contained on the towels and we tidied up in record time.

Some times later we decided to go into the garden to play.  I had some trouble getting Rory's shoes on.  BECAUSE THEY WERE FULL OF MASHED POTATO.

"Rory, have you put mashed potato in your shoes?" I asked, in utter disbelief.

"Oh yes," he replied, nodding happily.

John From Next Door chose this moment to arrive home from his holidays.  Yet again, he was presented with a charming domestic scene courtesy of my problem child and I and exited his car to me bellowing the Boy for Sale song from Oliver Twist whilst trying to scoop mash out of a shoe with a teaspoon.

"He's put mash in his shoes," In offered by way of explanation, hyperventilating a bit.

I think he said something along the lines of "boys will be boys", but I didn't hear because I was crouching on the floor rocking and whimpering "why why why why why?" "

"I must never do that again, must I mummy?" asked Rory, standing contritely in front of me.

"No, you must not." I agreed.

He sighed.  "I'll put it on the list," he said.


  1. Haha... I love that Rory said "I'll put it on the list" bless his cheeky soul. Ethan's current thing is the hosepipe. I caught him spraying his new wooden wendy house with it the other day. He only bloody knocked one of the windows in with the force of the water and drenched the inside so badly it's warped. FFS it wasn't even finished and he wrecked it!

  2. I'll put it on the list - what a rockstar

  3. I'm working from home at the minute - well, I'm not THIS minute because I'm reading your blog and posting this... but I was working from home a few minutes before this... anyway, my 2.5 yo is quietly playing in his bedroom (which is the size of a thumbnail), and I am worried what I might find when I go in there. Ok, he's just emerged with 4 limbs and all his digits in good working order... it's all we can hope for I think! ;o)