Anyone with babies or toddlers knows that cooking with them can be challenging. If you’re really lucky, you can schedule their naps for cook time, but for me that’s usually around 5 PM which doesn’t work with her bedtime. When she was a tiny baby, I’d put her on her play mat right outside the kitchen or in her bouncer. That gave way to giving her toys and hoping she’d just hang out and putting her in her eating seat so I could cut meat. But, she’s not always super excited about me focusing on something that’s not her. I’ve been halfway through trimming a chicken breast when she’s wedged herself between myself and the counter and forced me away from it. What I’m saying is that it can be tricky.
I had a kind of kitchen epiphany a few weeks back after changing the battery in the smoke detector. We’ve got this three step ladder that I used to perform the task and then leaned near the kitchen. That’s when it hit me that it would be perfect height for Lu to climb and “help” me in the kitchen. I give her a big bowl, a small measuring spoon and the masher and she’s usually good. Sure, I’ve got to be a lot more careful about where I put my knives and ingredients, but she seems to get a kick out of it.
When that doesn’t work, I put Sesame Street or Disney on in the living room and hope that soothes the savage beast long enough for me to finish making dinner!