Monday, July 2, 2007

I Don't Cook

I'd like to think I am a nurturing mother, but I do not do typical nurturing mother things, like make meals. In fact I'm very bad at that. I do try to make one or two meals a week. I know, that's pathetic.

But I don't want my children to starve either. This is why they are taught critical survival skills at a very young age. See, I do love them.

By age two my children know how to make at least three meals for themselves:

1. Breakfast: Cold cereal with milk (very popular)
2. Lunch: Toast with butter
3. Dinner: Peanut butter and jelly sandwich (not very popular)

D2 was an exceptional child and went beyond the basics. She learned how to make her own microwave popcorn as well. I did not consider this a possibility for S1, D1 and S2 when they were only two years-old, because the potential for burning the popcorn was too high. With that type of liability, the risk far out weighed the benefit.

But when D2 was a baby, we got a new over-the-stove microwave/hood combo. It had all the bells and whistles (at least by our standards) like a single touch, perfectly popped, "POPCORN" button.

So when D2 expressed an interest in making, or at least an interest in eating the buttery salty puffs, I took the initiative to show her how to make it herself. It does not seem easy, but at the tender age of two, she quickly mastered all the steps. Hunger can do amazing things.

In case any of you are as negligent about feeding your children as I am, here was my training outline. Please feel free to copy this for incidental home use.

1. Push bar stool to pantry and stand on bar stool seat.
2. Take one package of popcorn out of Costco-sized bulk microwave popcorn box that for some odd reason is kept conveniently on the top shelf.
3. Remove plastic wrapper (this step is important).
4. Move bar stool to microwave oven.
5. Make sure stove top is not hot (this is a crucial step).
6. Climb on bar stool and then onto stove to reach microwave completely.
7. Open microwave door.
8. Insert bag of microwave popcorn. (It has a side which the bag specifies needs to be "up" - This is not so important as long as you don't mind butter dripping out of the bag and all over interior of microwave, which Mom doesn't mind at all. Mom is okay with cleaning, but not with cooking, remember?)
9. Close microwave door.
10. Push "POPCORN" button.
11. Let microwave pop the corn while standing away from front of microwave door (because Mom thinks that causes cancer).
12. When microwave dings and lights goes off, open microwave door.
13. Carefully open bag (another important safety step).
14. Eat your meal without bothering Mom.


  1. Thank you, dear sister. I, too, have taught my chillin's to be independent.....and I only feel just slightly guilty for it.

  2. Oh that large bowl of popcorn brougt back so many good memories for me. Every Sunday was Popcorn and Bonanza night. Little Joe was my hero. We had real butter too on the popcorn. That was a real treat for us as we could not afford to have real butter on our table. Yummm! I think if DH had been raised by me he too would know the ways of the kitchen in the area of cooking for himself. I am not the cook in my household. Thank goodness. I do clean up.

  3. I cook but I have an aversion to cleaning - much to the displeasure of my DH.

    Being a two-year-old sounds like fun in your place, Deborah!!!

    Ha Ha Ha

  4. I am worried about the step on the stove part especially. Let's not teach D3 about the microwave until she is 5 OK? Too long?
    Aunt Christine

  5. Two meals a week. Is that two extra large meals to stockpile leftovers in tupperware or two meals-period?

    We used to say "Dad cooked" when he ordered pizza...
    "Who's cooking today?"
    "Dad is."
    "Okay, I'll get the pop and napkins."

  6. Hi Debbie and B

    Obviously you both had the correct upbringing whereas mine was seriously flawed.

    You have a ``popcorn'' button on your microwave?

    Can I come and live in your house?

    By the way, everyone in our house is on antibiotics at the moment, but I am trying to get that much-promised spinoff from your ``addicted to blogging'' post done in between visits to the doctor and the pharmacy.

    Cough, splutter, cough, splutter - can both of you (Debbie and B) bring some popcorn round to my house - please!



  7. Some things run in the family. By the time my kids were two, I also taught them to feed themselves. I have two favorite memories from that. 1. On a Saturday morning I rolled out of bed around 8:30. The TV had been pre-set the night before so the children could turn it on and automatically find cartoons. They had then gone to the fridge for breakfast... Bagels and Yogurt was their choice. When I walked in the kitchen the children ages 1, 3, 5 were gathered around a six pack of yogurt. Lids taken off - but unable to figure out how to separate them - they indulged themselves by each eating two from the six pack!
    2. When my youngest was 2 I was gone one evening and my husband was outside working. He noticed the youngest had disappeared and the middle child was headed to the house to use the bathroom. He asked her to look for the youngest. When she returned she reported all was well... the youngest was just making himself some toast! No big deal to three children who have learned to fend for themselves. A little bothersome to the husband who walked in the house to see a two year old with a knife in his hand, butter out and waiting for the toast to pop! I guess husband was a little concerned that the knife might be put IN the toaster! Come now... .I have taught them better than that!
    To this day I have to explain when my kids have friends over... they may not be fed... they will have to feed themselves if they get hungry, but there is plenty of food. I love EASY MAC!!!
    ~youngest sister Kim

  8. b. -
    I don't feel too guilty becuase I still cut their pancakes for them - even almost 16 year old S1. I little nuturing mixed in with teaching them independence is a happy mix in my opinion.

  9. Joanne,

    Real butter and a real television show. Ah, the good ol' days!

  10. Ozlady,

    Funny, none of my two-year olds have ever graced me with the compliment that it is fun to live in my house. But you are right for a two-year old it is great!

  11. Craver -

    You were the inspiration for my fast food for four days post. Thanks!

  12. David,

    Being sick is awful, but you need chicken soup, not popcorn. Trust me on this one.

  13. Kim,

    Get your own blog. (Just kidding!)


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