Thursday, April 23, 2015

An Impromptu Kitchen Date with Ryder

Today was a long work day for Braden. Inevitably that makes for a long day here at home as well. Usually on days like today I take a break in the kitchen (smoothie for breakfast, banana bread for lunch, and granola for dinner) and I was planning on it until this evening when I could tell that Ryder was desperate for some undistracted Mama time.

It was already 7pm (his normal bedtime) and I was feeling like I didn't have a lot to show for my day - we'd had a playdate in the morning with some new friends and I had been able to do a bit of gardening while the boys napped in the afternoon. There were a few items on my counter and in my fridge that needed to be dealt with though, and so with a bit of reluctance at first (it would be so much easier, faster, and cleaner if I were to just do it myself) I asked Ryder if he wanted to be my big helper.

"Helper Mama!"

Immediately he perked up.

"Hop up"

And so I lifted him up onto the counter beside the Vitamin and we got to work.

First on my to-do list was to turn our almost over-ripe avocados into guacamole for the weekend. Ryder peeled the stickers off of the outside (a great start to helping) and managed to squish one so much that its green insides began to spill out. Yep, they certainly needed to be used. He was also eager to smush the gooey green dip around with the pestle.

Next up - Pesto.  I had a big container of fresh basil that I couldn't resist picking up last time I was at Whole Foods. I've been using it in our pasta for the last week, but there was still quite a bit left and this way we'll be able to pull out the panini press and have quick and tasty sandwiches all weekend. I substituted walnuts for pine nuts, since that's what I had on hand, but we've done that before with great results. Ryder's involvement came in operating the Vitamix - a first. 

And voila! 

Since we all know that no date is complete without awesome food, Ryder and I cracked open a rare box of Smarties to share. He doesn't get such treats very often and it was fun to watch him saver the chocolates. 

Our last project of the night was baby food. We washed, cut, and roasted a few squash and added 4 ripe pears. I added the mixture to my growing supply of freezer baby food. Lucky Baby Lynden!

And of course by the end of our night the kitchen was a wreck. But, I did feel like I made something of my day and most importantly, I got to spend a quality hour of one on one time with my sweet boy who is growing up way too fast. Even if 'Mama's Big Helper' makes projects take twice as long, I cherished every moment of our sweet kitchen date...and I'll wash the dishes in the morning. ;)

Parenting is teaching me to let go of some of the insignificant things that I value - like having a spotless kitchen and being fully in control of my circumstances. There are times when I struggle with frustration and impatience - I don't want to repeat myself, I don't want to clean up the 'oopsies' messes, and I just want obedient actions out of my child without reaching out to him on the level of his heart. In the midst of that, it's spontaneous nights like tonight that make up a childhood and so I tell myself that I won't regret the mess and extra work - even when I'm tired.

Speaking of which, it's time to feed the baby and get myself to bed so that we can do this all over again tomorrow. Have I mentioned how much I love being Mama?!

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