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Hollow Tree Ventures parenting humor
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Recipe: a typical meal made with "help" from the kids


Prep time: all day, starting when you get out of bed, approximately 10 hours

  • wonder what you're going to make for dinner
  • stand in front of pantry wondering what you're going to make for dinner
  • open fridge, stare blankly inside, wondering what you're going to make for dinner
  • search Pinterest for new dinner ideas
  • find the perfect crock pot recipe, which of course it's too late to start now - make a mental note to try it tomorrow - immediately forget
  • realize you were absentmindedly snacking the whole time you were on the computer and aren't hungry anymore
  • since only the kids will be eating, settle for making macaroni and cheese
Ingredients
  • box of mac-n-cheese
  • water, I think
  • milk and butter, if you have it - the kids will never know the difference
Directions
  • Retrieve a pan; the sound of clanging metal will trigger the "Helpfulness" Gene and cause any young children nearby to ask if they can help.
  • Say yes; ask them to fill the pan with water. They'll disappear to retrieve something to stand on so they can reach the sink; while you're waiting, try not to think about the number of times you could have already filled the pan yourself.
  • Watch in awe as they hold the pan directly under the faucet, yet get 93% of the water on the floor.
  • Administer Lecture #478: No, You Cannot Turn The Stove On Because It's Hot and You Could Get Ouchies and Mommy Doesn't Feel Like Taking You To the ER Right Now
  • Ask them to get a box of mac-n-cheese. When they return, put the box on the counter and divert their attention away from the cookies, fruit snacks and chocolate chips that they also brought from the pantry.
  • Ask them to get the mixing bowl. No, the white mixing bowl. No, not Grandma's old glass one, the plastic one. With the blue bottom. Down there, on the bottom shelf. Here, let me show you.
  • Console child who's crying because you interfered with their helpful helping.
  • Chase child as they dash across the kitchen to check on the boiling water - hit shin on open dishwasher door.
  • Perform Expert Parenting Maneuver #294: Hold child over the pan, ensuring they're close enough to pour the macaroni in, yet aren't near the steam, can't get splashed with hot water, and lack the arm freedom to touch anything besides the cardboard macaroni box.
  • Entertain child for 7-8 minutes and/or eternity - most of this time can be spent trying to locate the macaroni that missed the pan and fell between the stove and the adjacent countertop.
  • Realize you didn't set timer and have no idea how long the pasta has been cooking. Per visual assessment, determine it's good enough.
  • Drain pasta - sustain 3rd degree facial burns from the steam because most of your attention was focused on holding child away from the area using full leg extension. Put pasta in bowl.
  • Against your better judgement, tell child they can tear open the cheese packet. When the cloud of cheese powder settles, brush it off all horizontal surfaces into the bowl.
  • Let the child add other ingredients, if you have them, then brush/scoop other ingredients off all horizontal surfaces into the bowl.
  • Allow child to mix everything together. Note: Their most vigorous stirring will only cause the top three pieces of macaroni to move slightly. You will have to actually stir it yourself. IMPORTANT: Under no circumstances should the child witness you stirring.
  • Serve. Congratulate child profusely for making dinner. See pride on child's face. Immediately realize that spending 60 minutes making macaroni and cheese was totally worth it.


I hope you enjoyed yourself while you were here - and I hope you come back! Please share inappropriate giggles with me on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, or subscribe via email so you don't miss a thing!


22 comments:

  1. I love when they want to help me. But I hate when they want to help me.

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  2. I love it! A warning to anyone who's new to the mac & cheese game- do NOT get the cartoon character shaped kind! They take twice as long to cook.

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  3. Good pro tip! The cartoon kind also has less macaroni in the box. Rip off. I just draw faces on the pasta on the plain box and tell them it's from a cartoon they've never seen.

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  4. Christian at PCPPPJuly 8, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    I like to the let the kids help me cook too. Although the only thing I let them help me with is pressing start on the microwave.

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  5. Norine, Science of ParenthoodJuly 9, 2013 at 7:20 AM

    YES! It happens at my house too! Brilliant!

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  6. Mommy doesn't want to take you to the ER tonight, and here I thought I was the only mom who said that! Love it, I let my kids help in the kitchen and it usually leads to me having a drink with dinner.

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  7. This made me laugh - a lot - right up until I realized that you were speaking of dinner. Then my inner voice (or aliens, or gods, or whatever) said, "Since when do we eat dinner around here?" My outer voice had no satisfactory answer, so I just told my inner voice to shut the hell up.


    And, lest anyone think this part was a joke, you really do think the butter is optional.

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  8. but you forgot the copious amount of wine you consumed to make this process more tolerable.

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  9. Miranda Ramsey EvansJuly 9, 2013 at 10:17 PM

    Loved it! We are also full of too many helping hands!

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  10. Ha! I said that about not being in the mood to go to the ER just this afternoon! :)

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  11. The alien voice in your head was confused because in the post *I'm* the one making dinner, which we all know never happens. That's why I make the kids do it. AND THE BUTTER *IS* OPTIONAL!

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  12. Right! All the wine must've killed the brain cells that would normally remember that part. ;)

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  13. Those helpers are lucky they're so cute. That's why we keep letting them dig into the food up to their chubby little dimpled knuckles. :)

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  14. Stacy @ Life on three sidesJuly 14, 2013 at 12:48 AM

    Oh, I LOVE this! This happens EVERY time I let my preschoolers help me make muffins for breakfast. Thanks for sharing!

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  15. I hear that - my 2yo and I just made waffles for approximately forever this morning! :)

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  16. How did I miss this the first time around? Anyway, the fact that your kids can already make mac and cheese puts them ahead of half the adults that I know. You're obviously doing something right ;)

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  17. I'm simply in the business of making them completely self-sufficient as soon as humanly possible so they can get jobs and buy their own mac and cheese. ;)

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  18. I just recently started substituting Entertain Child for Let Child Tear Open Packet and Lick Powdered Cheese. Otherwise, my recipe is identical to yours.

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  19. I like it! It saves a step later, and the child still ingests the powdered cheese - brilliant.

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Thank you for commenting - you're awesome! I mean, even if you're a jerk, at least it means you read my blog. RIGHT?!?