Friday, March 4, 2011

The Petite Sous Chef--GD and younger siblings

This is from a few weeks ago when they interrupted their dress up play to make snowcream together.
I have shared in previous posts about giving my seven year old more responsibilities in the kitchen and taking her seriously.  This morning, she was making pancakes while I took care of the baby.  My two year old went into the kitchen to see what was going on and begged to help.  Now, despite (or because of) all of the experience I have had cooking with the kidlets, I get just how frustrating it can be.  Efficiency goes out the window (at least in the early stages).  It takes longer and there is more work involved supervising everyone else.  It is simpler to just do it yourself, you know?

So I expected that Ariana would tell Elena to do something else or try to gently distract her.  Instead, she paused and really looked at her little sister.  "You really want to help, don't you?"  "YES!" beamed the two year old.  "Well, the stove is very hot and you could get burned.  But I have a very important job you can do."  As she was talking, my seven year old quickly melted some butter in the microwave, and placed it next to the rack of pancakes she had just cooked.  Handing her little sister a pastry brush, she told her to paint all the pancakes with melted butter.  Elena was so pleased--how much more fun can a two year old have than that?!

After she finished, Ariana carefully instructed her in making pancakes, and let her put a couple of spoonfuls of batter in the pan.  Elena compared hers to Ariana's and said that she messed up.  Ariana lovingly reassured her that just because they were different sizes or shapes didn't mean that they weren't as good.  Elena's smile lit up again.  I just watched in awe at the wisdom and tenderness of my daughter towards her little sous chef. 

I struggle so hard to incorporate my convictions about how to treat my children.  Things like welcoming them into my plans when I am trying to get things done, really listening to them, giving them fun  opportunities to contribute in a meaningful way, gently encouraging instead of controlling and telling them how to "improve" upon their results.  These are lessons that I have to work at on a daily (hourly) basis.  And my seven year old seemed to do it effortlessly!  It reminded me that part of the reason I am working to treat my children with gentleness and respect is so that they will find it easier to treat their own children that way.

8 comments:

Hippie Housewife said...

How wonderful and precious. :)

Tina Michelle said...

Aww, she is such a great big sister to help her little sister like that. I love this post!

Staci said...

You are such an inspiration as a mother! I wanna be you when I grow up, lol.

granny2five said...

Hmmm. Seems like I remember another little 7-year-old girl who was very patient with her younger sister. Apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Virginia Is For Mothers said...

How sweet! I've been trying to be more conscious of involving my kids in every day activities without getting frustrated myself at how much longer it takes. I hope my two little boys can do as well as your girls did!

melissa joanne said...

Not only does this speak volumes about your wonderful children, but it says so much about the love and kindness you have modeled for them.

Ya Chun said...

I have a feeling that she knew what to say because she's heard it from you! Obviously, those times when you 'got it right' have made a better and more lasting impression on her than the times you 'goofed'.

Amy said...

What a sweet story!