Friday, December 21, 2012

Back in the day, this was your brain on drugs

photo via spikeyhelen

Emerging independence is malarkey and it's come to this: the four of us in possession of a reasonable respect for bowls are in collusion to hide one critical piece of information from a certain blue-eyed blonde whose smile belies his havoc-loving heart:

shhhhh. Don't let this get out. We have eggs.

The other day I heard the lead teacher in the two-year-old classroom offering guidance to another parent: "see if you can get her involved more with food preparation. If she helps make it she's more likely to try it. That's how a lot of kids overcome their aversion to trying new foods." Not wanting to be a total subversive, I waited until that invigorated parent left the room and I smiled at this teacher whom I love. "Does G eat what you cook in class?"

She laughed. "No! He's the exception. But he's great at the cooking part. He loves to mix and whisk. He's always in front taking charge of the measuring cups and spatula. He has great motor skills with our cooking projects. But he doesn't eat any of it!" And I told her about the eggs.

Mister Man G, he of the deep blue eyes and sideways smile, he is a total DIYer of the kitchen. Not unlike how he pees on the base of the toilet on a semi-regular basis because he takes off his own diaper without telling anyone and pees at the toilet instead of into it because he didn't climb up the stool to reach the top of it, When G has a hankering for culinary creation he helps himself to ingredients. And more than anything, he loves to make eggs. He will take the flat silicone spatula that I favor for making omelettes out of the drawer and slap it satisfyingly into the palm of his hand. I got my spatula! He'll grab the whisk if he sees it, or a fork if he doesn't. And he'll get out the eggs, the butter, the milk.

And here's where things get sticky: he will crack those eggs, oh yes he will, and don't let the fact that he can't reach the cabinet where the bowls live stop anybody. He will crack those eggs into anything he can reach. His sisters' milk cups, the little tea light holder where I keep my rings when I wash dishes, and a paper box of  cookies have all been past victims. The worst, though, is when he can't find any container at all. Then he just cracks them straight onto the floor.

If he has a bowl, he will add milk, which also spills all over the floor. If he has no milk, he will scramble those eggs right on the floor.

It.
is.
tragic.

Especially if he "cooked" right before you all went upstairs for bedtime and then come back down to a dark kitchen in bare feet.

So you're thinking: "the boy wants eggs! Just make him some eggs!" but you, good sir or lady, are wrong. Just like at school, I will invitingly call G to the counter. I will guide him to a bowl (a bowl!). I will help him add a restrained amount of milk to the bowl and beat his eggs without sloshing. I will give him a pat of butter to drop in a hot pan and help him maneuver my his favorite spatula around the pan to scrambled perfection. I will help him sprinkle just the right dash of salt and spray of shredded cheddar across the top.

And then he won't eat them. He never eats his eggs.

So the deal is this: the noteverstill household is a chicken-egg-speakeasy. There are eggs in the basement fridge. But you didn't hear that from me.

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