I hate cooking with my toddler!! - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 15 Old 09-26-2011, 04:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
crunchy_mommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 6,501
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
And of course that's one of his favorite things to do!!

I like to cook by myself. Alone. Preferably with no one even in the house.

He wants to cook with me. And no, he's not remotely content to 'cook' play food or play with the pots and pans or throw scraps in the compost. He wants to use the SHARP knife, and shake in all the spices, and pour all the liquids, he wants to do everything I'm doing and I just want to be left alone. He's a fast learner but he's only 2.5!! I can't stand climbing around the chair he stands on and things starting to burn because I'm busy cleaning up the spilled baking soda and having to be constantly aware of where I left the knife and ending up with too much chili powder in our dish.

I want to like cooking with him. I want to be the kind of mom that enjoys cooking with my kid. But I just don't. How do I get there???? And if I can't get there, how do I get him to leave me in peace while I cook????? If by some miracle he goes off on his own for a minute, he is usually purposely throwing everything off the (already set) dining table or breaking things or intentionally peeing on the floor. Pre-dinner time is the worst part of the entire day. Every single day. He's not an angel the rest of the day but it's nowhere near as bad, it's like he becomes a totally different person at 5:30pm. And that's regardless of how recently he napped or snacked and how much attention he's had and whether or not I give him a structured activity etc. greensad.gif

Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
crunchy_mommy is offline  
#2 of 15 Old 09-26-2011, 05:10 PM
 
Contrariety's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: The UC
Posts: 2,327
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I want to be a fun cooking mom, too, but I also HATE it.  DS is always in the way and I have to ask him 20,000 times to move to just get a measuring spoon or bowl or something.  I really need to chill out.  DS is almost 5 and he's pretty much over the messing with stage so you'd think I'd start enjoying it more when he wants to help.  Nope.  I hate it just as much as I always have.  Everything takes sooooooooooo long to do when he's helping and now DD (almost 2) has to get it on it, too.  It's a nightmare, and i always end up grouchy and barking at them.  I don't know how to chill about it, but I really wish I could.

Contrariety is offline  
#3 of 15 Old 09-26-2011, 05:28 PM
 
beautifulnm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Hawaii
Posts: 657
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Ah! My son too! His favorite is the ridiculously sharp global blade of my husband's :( I am always paranoid he will get it and I won't catch it quick enough or he'll fall.. The other day we were eating sushi and he ran off to the kitchen.. to get a pot to cook his fish. I get frustrated too.. I guess it's just one of those things, you gotta shrug and accept it. Easier said than done I know. Our most  recent kitchen disaster was when he ate cayenne while trying to season his latest culinary delight. I miss when DH was gone and I didn't feel like it I just wouldn't bother to cook and there was no crazy toddler cooking. God bless those Amy's frozen meals haha.


DS arrived 3/10/10, DD arrived 3/13/13, and a third will be joining us around 5/20/14. pos.gif
beautifulnm is offline  
#4 of 15 Old 09-27-2011, 10:10 AM
 
newmamalizzy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,637
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)

No real advice, but I totally feel you.  I think it's because I DO love to cook so much that family cooking is so hard.  Cooking has always been my "zen" thing.  But there is NOTHING zen about cooking with toddlers around, so it seems like more of a chore.  I save some sanity by cooking supper for myself and DP after DD goes to bed.  Makes for a late meal, but much calmer cooking experience.

newmamalizzy is online now  
#5 of 15 Old 09-27-2011, 10:19 AM
 
~cassie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: louisiana
Posts: 324
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I have 3 kids and they ALL want to help.  I am not the fun cooking mom either.  But a few things I have learned is to do as much prep ahead as time as possible.  Cut the meat up.  Premeasure the spices and put in a bowl.  Makes it a lot easier for them to help me without me getting too bogged down in wanting to clean up the mess/put up the supplies.


Cassie, mom to Alex(4/7/05), Aidan(7/12/07), and Andrew(8/18/08)

~cassie is offline  
#6 of 15 Old 09-27-2011, 01:25 PM
 
hildare's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: in-the-sticks-off-a-dirt-road, GA
Posts: 2,687
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

hm... i am a cooking mom (on the weekends, usually, i woh) and a baking mum. 

the biggest thing i find to be helpful is the food processor and the stand mixer.  the tools are great.  dd will happily help make part of a dish this way, and it's easy to let her help.

i will set up the processor and maybe cut/quarter stuff and she'll drop it in the hole.  that's enough to satisfy her-- if she gets a little kitchen time usually involving prepwork then she'll go away and let me finish the rest.

for baking, we turn on the mixer and i let her pour in stuff i have measured. i want to do tv cooking show where i have it all prepped but i am not that organized, but i see how that could work very well. 

that all being said, during the week, dd does NOT help with dinner.  dh does the cooking and she's very happy to have mommy time. 

could you do a cooking on the weekends thing?  i pretty much set up at the beginning that if she wants to help, there are rules.  rules are

no tasting things with eggs in it once they're added

no touching the machine itself

stay away from the mixer arm (she really gets that)

she's not allowed to handle the knives but apparently daddy taught her how to hand them to people and that they're sharp (sigh) and she DOES understand that and respects it. 

sometimes it's a major PITA and it usually involves major mopwork, which is why i usually try to time it before a weekend cleaning session- i'm going to mop the floor then anyway. 

i feel like it's really beneficial to her (though i seriously need to not bake stuff every weekend).  and i cannot emphasize enough how awesome food processor with chopping blade is.  that's a win- win, she gets to do the veggies (or cooked chicken), they get chopped, and then it goes in the dishwasher. 

 


Is it getting lonely in the echo chamber yet?

hildare is offline  
#7 of 15 Old 09-27-2011, 04:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
crunchy_mommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 6,501
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Oh man I miss my food processor!! (It broke & we can't afford a new one right now greensad.gif) I don't measure so measuring ingredients out ahead of time makes no sense to me lol. I don't know how much to use until I'm actually doing it! I think that's the thing, my style of cooking just doesn't jive with having help. I need to do it myself. And newmamalizzy, I'm kind of like that too, I really get into the zone & enjoy cooking, and if I'm not in the mood to cook then DH does it because I can't stand for it to feel like a chore. But I'm really efficient and don't like to waste time in the kitchen or leave a mess -- that's just not possible with DS. I wish I could cook after he goes to bed but he doesn't go down until after 11pm and he won't sleep if I'm not next to him anyway. But there was one time I enjoyed cooking with him and I think the difference was, I wasn't hungry, DS was in a good mood, DH wasn't home, and I specifically made 'cooking' our evening activity, so I was mentally prepared for it and all. I guess I have to figure out how to replicate that -- weekends are a good idea, hildare, that might help. I'd love to hear from more 'fun cooking moms' to see what your tricks are!!!

Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
crunchy_mommy is offline  
#8 of 15 Old 10-02-2011, 02:14 PM
 
JoyFilled's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 453
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

What if you let your child make dessert instead of helping with the main meal?  

 

Like mixing pudding or cutting fruit smaller?

 

DD currently loves trying to shred carrots.  It takes her forever.  :)

JoyFilled is offline  
#9 of 15 Old 10-02-2011, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
crunchy_mommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 6,501
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We don't do dessert, otherwise that would be perfect!

How does she shred them? I feel like DS would shred his fingers! yikes.gif

Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
crunchy_mommy is offline  
#10 of 15 Old 10-04-2011, 02:20 PM
 
Blessed_Mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 854
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Crunchy-mom your toddler goes to bed at 11? When does he wake up? I have similar issues with my DD who doesn't sleep until 10 PM and I fret so much when I read threads about toddlers sleeping by 6-7 PM. My DD wakes up around 9 (facepalm)

 

One cooking trick (sorry not too much help here because I cook when my DH is home in the evenings and my DD plays with him. When I cook a few things every morning (usually her breakfast and the like) she leaves me alone when I tell her too. Please don't hate me too much) but the few times she insists on getting in my hair I give her a few grapes or lentils or some such thing to wash in a pan and let her sit in one corner of the kitchen and tell her to wash them real good. She sits happily with her hand in the pan, making a wet mess but that buys me enough time to do my thing.

Blessed_Mom is offline  
#11 of 15 Old 10-04-2011, 03:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
crunchy_mommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 6,501
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blessed_Mom View Post

Crunchy-mom your toddler goes to bed at 11? When does he wake up? I have similar issues with my DD who doesn't sleep until 10 PM and I fret so much when I read threads about toddlers sleeping by 6-7 PM. My DD wakes up around 9 (facepalm)

 

One cooking trick (sorry not too much help here because I cook when my DH is home in the evenings and my DD plays with him. When I cook a few things every morning (usually her breakfast and the like) she leaves me alone when I tell her too. Please don't hate me too much) but the few times she insists on getting in my hair I give her a few grapes or lentils or some such thing to wash in a pan and let her sit in one corner of the kitchen and tell her to wash them real good. She sits happily with her hand in the pan, making a wet mess but that buys me enough time to do my thing.


Hmm I will have to try something like that. I'm not convinced it will work for him lol -- he wants to be doing what I'M doing -- but maybe it will work!

He wakes up between 9:30-10:30. I have tried many times to shift him to an earlier schedule but apparently the late bedtime is the only way he will sleep. Good to know we're not the only ones wide awake so late!!

Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
crunchy_mommy is offline  
#12 of 15 Old 10-04-2011, 05:21 PM
 
katelove's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 3,866
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)

I know you said you don't measure but could you start doing some recipes where you could measure stuff out first. Something has to change because what you're doing now isn't working for you so maybe that could be one of the things. I would think bread or bread-like products would lend themselves to toddler assistance - plenty of mixing and kneading. You could give him a small piece of dough to knead while you did the main loaf.

 

Are you familiar with Continuum Concept at all? Proper, sharp knives are introduced pretty early on in toddlerhood and the children are taught how to use them safely. A small, sharp knife and some soft-ish fruit or vegetables to cut up might be good also. You could do things like cut a banana or cucumber in half lengthways so it couldn't roll around and let him chop it up.


Mother of two spectacular girls, born mid-2010 and late 2012  mdcblog5.gif

katelove is online now  
#13 of 15 Old 10-04-2011, 05:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
crunchy_mommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 6,501
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ahh we are gluten-free so bread is an issue lol. But yeah. I think I know the solution. He can cook with DH. DH has patience. And time. And measures stuff. LOL. Maybe I should just give up the idea of cooking with him myself for now. Maybe when he's older.

Interesting about using real knives. I'm not totally opposed to it and he has used a real knife on occasion but I think I'm too anxious for it to be a regular thing... our knives are super sharp!!!

Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
crunchy_mommy is offline  
#14 of 15 Old 10-04-2011, 06:46 PM
 
Altair's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: NYC
Posts: 2,498
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I pick my battles-- running late on a weeknight coming home from work and I'm HUNGRY and we're all cranky?  I let him watch Yo Gabba Gabba and dance with me while I cook singing "Party in My Tummy."  But I'll make it up to him during clean up by letting him sit on the kitchen counter with me and help me wash the dishes after dinner.  

 

If I have more time and I'm using the stand mixer I let him help for sure.  But not every single meal, and it's one of the few times I use TV if there's no other way for me to get dinner ready in any sane fashion.  


Also, we bought a matching play kitchen to our kitchen from IKEA and put it in our kitchen, and that seems to work better than anything else.  Especially if I'm really nice and let him put soapy water in the sink and give him a rag.  

Altair is offline  
#15 of 15 Old 10-05-2011, 07:27 AM
 
tooraloora's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 318
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

When my DD went through that, I started having someone watch her during the day one weekend a month, in which I cooked all the meals for the month and froze them. It worked out pretty well for us. These days I don't have access to a babysitter, or enough freezer space, so it looks like I'll have to come up with something new now that DS is starting to get interested. I've been looking at the Curious Chef stuff. It's a line of cookware for kids. Apparently they're real tools, but designed to be ergonomic and kid safe. Seems like it could work for us. I figure I could set the kids up with their cooking supplies out of my way and have them do prep work for one or two of the dishes.

tooraloora is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off