Related to my last post on painting....
For the first 3 hours I painted today, the kids were great. Ben and Emma had TV time, and then each played a game alone. Ben was playing upstairs while I was on the stairwell to the 2nd floor, and he was really into his pretend life. And Emma was playing in the box clubhouse the kids made this week (we got a bistro set to add to our existing patio furniture so we don't have to carry chairs out of the house when we want to eat out there, and the box was really big.) She had dolls and animals, and had a whole fantasy life happening. Rachel and Julia were pretending to be Amish girls in the family room (yes, Amish!) and I was singing along to "Hotel California" happily while I painted.
However, as any parent knows, whenever the kids are playing nicely and you are getting something accomplished, it will soon END! And it did--Emma wanted to "watch me paint," which over the last five days have become my most dreaded sentence from her lips. It consists of getting too close to whatever I'm painting, getting some appendage in the paint, and me trying to be nice but usually losing it and yelling....then Ben came along complaining Rachel and Julia weren't letting him play, and the girls protesting that he didn't want to play Amish family, blah, blah, blah. Whatever.
I snapped, and pointed out that since I was the one busting my hump to make our home a nicer place, the least they could do was play nicely. I further added that bedtime would be directly after dinner if they couldn't get along...so they dressed up for a while and then made cookies.
I have to admit, I cooked a lot with Rachel when she was tiny, and even a bit with Julia. I don't mind one kid helping, sometimes two is OK. But more than two--it gets crazy! They all want to do whatever job it is, they all want to see into the bowl, etc. I can't stand it. I only invite help while cooking if I can't avoid it. But Rachel handled it well. She put the mixing bowl on the floor (eliminates falling off chairs/the I can't see! wails too) and made them stay in strict age order for adding things to the bowl, mixing, and dropping the cookies onto the sheets. They were peanut butter chip cookies, and came out delicious.
Extra bonus--Rachel did every dish in the sink afterwards, even bowls from earlier fruit salad and the dog dish soaking in the sink! Yay!