prepping for supper time is usually right in the midst of the "witching hour" around our house. i'm ready to start supper right around the time the girls are waking up from naps. they typically wake up one of two ways: 1. in lovely moods (light on the lovely, heavy on the mood) or 2. raring to go.
there is no "down time" after nap time.
there are times i can set the girls up with an episode of doc mcstuffins just long enough to let me at least start things in the kitchen and then jeffrey gets home not too long after so i can finish up. other times i can leave them in the playroom and just hope for the best.
when they're in the playroom they're within earshot and just a quick glance away, but i spend so much time refereeing and running back and forth that it stresses me out. i've tried bringing them into the kitchen with me, but that usually ends up in undue stress as well. libbi is pretty good about sitting at the table and coloring or reading books, etc. it's laney that i have to watch out for. it's a wonder i haven't burned our house down (Lord knows i've burned a few meals) with all the distractions going on.
yesterday both girls were up and looking for something to do when i needed to start preparing our supper. i decided to bring both of them with me and let them "cook" while i was cooking, too. i put a few beach towels down on the floor underneath a little play table we have. i dumped out the ice bucket into a tupperware bowl and put out other tupperware containers, plastic spoons, mixers, spatulas, cups, etc.
y'all! you would have thought they had died and gone to heaven. libbi was all business whipping up "ice soup" and "ice supper" with great precision. while laney was content to just transfer a piece or two of ice between a bowl and cup.... back and forth, back and forth, back and forth (when she wasn't getting busted for trying to eat it!)
and to my complete and utter shock, it. was. not. messy! i thought for sure they'd be slipping and sliding in water puddles all over the floor in no time, but they proved me wrong! they kept everything on the table or in the containers. the few pieces that fell onto the towels were considered precious ingredients, so they were very quickly retrieved.
i was able to cook our entire meal AND unload the dishwasher. unheard of! (all that time - not the fact that i unloaded the dishwasher). laney did tire of the ice cooking before libbi, but she was content to play with the magnets on the fridge the remainder of the time. libbi played SO well and loved every minute of it. it is DEFINITELY an activity we'll do again!
after we cleaned everything up, i was putting away the dishes from the girls' "cooking" and looked in the playroom to check on them. they were both completely sprawled out. i had to laugh, because that's pretty much the way i feel (and what i wish i could do) some days...okay most days...after i cook supper, too. ;)
(and in case you ever worried that poor little laney gets trampled on....
have no fear - here's photographic proof that baby sister can hold her own)
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