I should have known when the third egg splattered in the same way the two preceding companions exploded into the bowl of buttermilk that pancakes and a grumpy 7-yr-old was probably not a good combination. The harder he tried, the more disastrous the outcome … and the crabbier his mood.
He moaned louder as flour poofed everywhere when he tried to stir the batter. Nothing was going as smoothly as he hoped, but this didn’t extinguish his desire to keep cooking. Spatula in hand, he eagerly eyed his prey and imagined perfectly flipped flapjacks. Since it was his first flipping experience, anyone could predict what happened next. Yes, a blob of half cooked batter folded on itself.
“I’m so bad. (whine, whine) I’m the worst cook!!!” … and overly dramatic, adds the kid’s tired mom.
He dismissed his disappointment and went in for the kill on his second cake. The result mirrored his previous attempt. Splat. … “THIS IS TOO HAAARRRDDD!!!” whaah…stomp… stomp… pound the spatula down. That was enough for him.
I ended up cooking the rest of the dinner. Granted, he flipped a few more pancakes and stirred the scrambled eggs. But truth be told, he didn’t get going when the going got tough. He gave up on the surprisingly more labor intensive menu than his chicken, rice & beans from the week before. And, being a newbie at this, I let him give up. At the end of the day, I just didn’t have it in me to cheerlead him to success. I guess we both have a few things to work on.
We did sit together and enjoy our fun Breakfast for Dinner. He may not have made everything, but his siblings heralded the delicious dinner that agreed with every picky palette at the table.
When I finally sat down, I informed Chef that dishwasher duty remained on the checklist – unloading and loading. Last week, he couldn’t wait to get his hand on the silverware caddy. Today all he could do was moan. The fact of the matter … He didn’t want to do anything. He wanted me to do it for him.
“Why are you sooooo mad at me?!!” he cried
“What are you talking about. I’m not mad at you.”
“Yes you are. Why else would you be making me do the dishwasher… AGAIN?!!”
Again? Is he talking about last week?? Wow, I really am a slave driver. Ooohh… helping with the dishes more than once in a month. That is unreasonable.
“Listen, tonight is your night. If you don’t do your job, you’ll have to pay me to do it.”
“That’s not fair! Not fair. Not fair.”
“It’s your choice.”
Suffice it to say, he’s a little dramatic. Nothing was being asked of him that he couldn’t do. I’m always there to help (probably too often and too much … but I’m working on it). It really boiled down to the fact that he only wanted work based on his terms. Isn’t that how we all want it to be?
He disappeared after the meal, reappearing here and there to see if I meant what I had said. I reminded him twice and left the kitchen messy for about an hour. After that, I assumed my natural position next to the sink, unloading, washing and loading the dishwasher. I cleaned the table and counter-tops, swept the floor, put everything away.
As I put him to bed, I quietly went to his box and paid myself. Not enough for my desperately needed pedicure, but enough for him to miss it.
I added his $5 to the $2 I took from the kids who left clothes on the floor that morning. The newness is wearing off, hard-work is being felt, perseverance is entering the picture.
For some a glass of wine would be in order. For me, it’s my Keurig coffer maker that comes to the rescue. Nothing like a piping hot, fresh-brewed, cup of coffee for a quick escape. Thank you Van Houtte extra bold decaf … you helped me put it all into perspective.
Thanks for walking the road with me.
Teens in Action
Amy Grant: Signed to a record company at the age of sixteen, Grant’s first, self-titled album (largely self-composed) in 1977, was a runaway success in terms of the Christian music market of the time. As of 2009, Grant remains the best-selling Contemporary Christian music singer, having sold over 30 million units worldwide. She has won six Grammy Awards, 25 Dove Awards, and had the 1st Christian album to ever go “Platinum”.
I am proud of you for paying yourself. I hope today went better. Do not give up. One thought, when I tried letting the boys cooked during the summer, they only cooked one meal a week. So maybe each kid has 2 nights a week for cooking but every night the rest of the kids are responsible for setting and clearing the table and doing the dishes. I asked them to always clear their plates and put them in the dish washer for every meal.