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July 10, 2010

There's No Such Thing as the Kitchen Fairy

I always excelled in math class, and I loved phonetics. Recipes are my friends. And even at 28 weeks pregnant with twins, I was the one leading the crib assembly.

I like things in black and white, and I’m good at following directions.

I’m a big fan of the Babywise sleep training methodology. I followed it to a tee, and – knock on wood! (yes, I still knock on wood, even though the girls started sleeping through the night at three months old…) – our girls are great sleepers.

One of the guiding Babywise principles is the “sleep, eat, wake” cycle. A baby sleeps, then eats, then has awake time. And ne’er the twain shall get mixed up, at least not if I could help it.

Since the girls have always been very scheduled, I could plan to have their meals ready for them as soon as they woke up in the mornings, and then after their morning- and afternoon naps. Save for a short cuddle period in their room to start the day, there was no “awake time” without some sustenance first.

When I transitioned the girls to one nap last week, though, I realized something had to give. With no morning nap, there was no “sleep” during which to prepare their lunch. Nope, their “awake time” stretches from breakfast through lunch. And they get up in the afternoons well before suppertime.

And you can guess this just threw me -- and them (but mostly me) -- for a loop.

With the exception of breakfast and their afternoon snack after their nap, I have to prepare their meals with them awake. This preparation doesn’t take long…because I cook almost everything ahead of time, I’m usually just warming up some veggies and dicing some fresh fruit...but nonetheless, our girls are being forced to face one of life's hard truths, and so early on, at that…

There's no such thing as the Kitchen Fairy.

Nope, a quick peek behind the curtain reveals it’s Mommy who lovingly prepares each and every meal.

I actually think it’s a good thing the girls see that food doesn’t just magically appear on the kitchen table, that avocados aren’t “born” peeled and diced into neat little cubes.

And as I become comfortable with this new methodology, I might even be able to apply it to breakfast…to cuddle with them in their room, and then to allow them to play for a few minutes while I cook their eggs and oatmeal instead of having everything prepared in advance of their descent downstairs...

…and that might just allow Mommy a few more minutes to savor her coffee in the still of the morning, before the day swings into gear…which makes me think it’s OK to bid the Kitchen Fairy farewell.

9 comments:

MultipleMum said...

I am still waiting for the Kitchen Fairy to arrive at our place too. She doesn't seem to want to come though...

I just nominated you on the Saturday Spotlight. Thought you might be into that sort of thing :)

Rebecca said...

I do ALL of their meals in front of them...prep and all. Sometimes they ask for their highchairs to be pulled up to the stove so they can watch. I love this. I think it's so important to see the process. Sometimes they get bowls and spoons and whisks and join in the process...air pie...yummy!

When they're old enough, I also plan to incorporate a night when they plan, shop for, and cook a meal for the family. I just think it's important that they realize that I'm not their personal chef! Bye bye Kitchen Fairy!

Missy (Two Little Monkeys) said...

Oh yes, definitely no Kitchen Fairy here. The girls are old enough now so they help me. And when they were babies - I put their bumbos in my kitchen and talked to them as I cooked.
BabyWise was an excellent help when getting the girls to sleep & schedules. I did not follow it when it came to pacifiers and security blankets but it was a great book.

Cuz I'm the mama! said...

I don't think it's too much to ask for a Kitchen Fairy when you have twins. But - as we all know ... no such luck. Boooo. I also prepare in advance as much as possible. It just makes me feel better ... more prepared for when they wake. If I am not prepared, however, when they wake ... I use puffs or cereal to keep them content for 5 minutes. It's the only trick I have at this point and I am sure they are quickly outgrowing it. Maybe someone would like to start a business called "The Kitchen Fairies". They could be personal assistants for Moms. We had a doula for a short time after the girls were born and she did meal prep. AMAZING! There is money to be made in stuff like that if anyone has the time. Maybe in 20 years!

Helene said...

Oh, girl, you just wait until they want to help you in the kitchen. At first, it'll be fun but then you'll be begging them to go back to playing.

I used to panic every time there was some kind of change in our daily routine, like when they would give up a nap or give up a bottle feeding. I'd actually have to sit there and rewrite the schedule out on paper so I could figure out how to make the day go smoothly again. I'm a little type A, if you hadn't noticed!

Helene said...

Oh and I added you to my blogroll...hope you don't mind!

Quadmama said...

If you ever do find a Kitchen Fairy, please send her to my house! Actually, I kind of enjoy getting my daughters involved in meal prep.

reanbean said...

My kids love to play in their play kitchen whenever my husband or I are preparing a meal. They'll run back and forth between the kitchen and their play kitchen in the living room to see our progress and report on their own. And they always seem to be right by my side whenever it's time for a tasting. I'm looking forward to getting them involved in some cooking projects of their own. Could probably be doing some now, but we're just too busy this summer. Maybe in the fall...

Marcia (123 blog) said...

I pretend we have a kitchen fairy too.

I only cook with the kids there WHILE they're eating because Connor is the most impatient boy ever (actually all boys are when it comes to food!) and WHINES the entire time until he gets food.