lessons for the boy…

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With all things being equal, one of the goals I have set for my children to accomplish in their lives, is to have the ability to take care of themselves. As such, knowing how to operate the washing machine and dryer have been a must. As well as instructing them on how to make something other than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to feed to themselves. The doll, perhaps because her taste palate is larger has excelled at the art of making food whereas her brother’s kitchen skills have been less than stellar.

Yesterday, feeling less than stellar myself asked the boy if he could make me some soup. “How do I do that?” He asked. Looking at him rather pointedly, I directed, “You pull a pan out from the cupboard and pour the soup into the pan, apply some heat…” “How does that work?”He asked. “What?” I replied. “Well the pans are flat..how do you pour soup into a flat pan?” “Bay…” I said exasperated. Unable to adequately answer his question I just looked at him oddly for a second. “I’m not talking about a frying pan or skillet…” I said before adding “Bay, not all the pans are flat…pull out a soup pan…” Maintaining his obtuse behavior he asked, “Where can I find such a pan…?”

Over hearing our conversation the doll emerged from the bathroom. As she passed me she said “I’ll show him what to do…” and walked into the kitchen. From the living room I overheard their conversation, along with the sounds usually associated with making soup but couldn’t help being amused by what I overheard. “Boy, see this pan…this is what you use…” She said placing it atop the stove. “Oh, I didn’t realize this was a soup pan…” He obtusely replied. “This is the kind of soup mom wants…so pull open the lid and….” “Okay now what…?” He interrupted. “Pour it into the soup pan and then turn on the stove top to about right here…” She said in a tone which showed an increasing amount of annoyance. “Now get a spoon and stir the soup in the pan so the soup cooks evenly”. “That’s it?” He said and began to walk out of the kitchen. “No, now comes the hardest part for you….now you have to PAY ATTENTION!” “When will I know it’s done?” He asked. “When the soup has boiled-but not just on the sides.” She said and then joined me in the living room.

After a few minutes the boy, from the kitchen lamented the soup was taking too long. Re-entering the kitchen, the doll approached the stove and said, “Boy, have you stirred the soup so it cooks evenly?” “No…it’s just taking too long to get to boil”. “Jeeze boy, don’t you know, a watched pot never boils! The most important task is to pay attention so the soup doesn’t boil over. PAY ATTENTION!” She reiterated to him but with a voice suggesting  paying attention was a foreign concept for him.

A few minutes later the boy walked out of the kitchen carrying the hot steaming soup while the doll followed behind bringing with her the utensils I would need to consume the soup. “Thank you…both” I said to them. “You’re welcome Mama…enjoy!!” The boy replied enthusiastically. The doll for her part exasperated a huge sigh and shook here head back and forth.

I in turn ate the soup knowing the boy could now make soup…provided his sister was around to show him how…

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