Little Chef

Toddlers are the best. I know most people would disagree with me, but oh my goodness I LOVE having a toddler. Does she have complete irrational meltdowns? Yes. Does she need to be taught how to share 10 times an hour when we play with friends? Sometimes. Does she sometimes talk so fast without a full vocabulary that I have no idea what she is trying to tell me? Absolutely. BUT SHE IS THE BEST. Yesterday I was at the doctor for SO LONG to make sure everything was ok with baby girl, so I could hold off induction for another week. My little toddler ended up with 2 different babysitters over the course of almost 3 hours. When I came home it was time for lunch, during which Emma Grace insisted on holding my hand while we ate. She didn’t cry when I was gone. She didn’t freak out when I came home, but she missed me and just wanted to hold my hand. The sweetness is overwhelming.

Not only is my little toddler ridiculously sweet, but she is actually able to help with chores. She helps me with laundry, dishes and making beds. Would it be faster if she didn’t? Absolutely. Would it be done a little nicer if she didn’t? Probably, though housework isn’t exactly my strength. Would I enjoy it half as much without watching her figure things out and look at me with a proud smile? Not a chance.

Our favorite thing to do together is cook. Probably because I love cooking and the result is way more fun than the laundry. You may be thinking, “How on earth does a 2 1/2 year old cook?” Well we have developed a system that allows us to have a good product and some fun. If you have been trying to figure out how to get some cooking/baking done with your little one at your leg, please give this a try.

Emma Grace gets a chair to stand on at the counter (clearly I should invest in a stool, but the chair works fine). Next to my dish or bowl, she gets her own. As I scoop, chop, and shred ingredients she gets to pour them into “Mommy’s bowl.” After the correct amount has been put into my bowl then Emma Grace gets a small amount of any non harmful ingredient to pour into her bowl. She cannot take the spoon out of Mommy’s bowl or eat anything out of it, but she can do both of these things with her bowl. Most of the time she is actually my little chef. She pours everything in for me, stirs and scrapes the real stuff. However, when she gets ancy and wants to be a little messier or eat right then and there she uses her bowl. As long as she gets the same ingredients mommy is using then she is happy.

Today we made an applesauce cake sweetened with honey and dates. She put all of the ingredients for the actual cake in my bowl, stirred and helped pour the batter in the pan.
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She also ate from her bowl which had a small amount of the whole wheat flour, cinnamon, pecans, dates and applesauce.
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My little chef had SO MUCH FUN baking with me. How could I not let her help?
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Disclaimer: In one month when my toddler is freaking out because we can’t send the baby back, please don’t point me to this post and make fun of my love of toddlers. I reserve the right to change my opinion. Thanks.

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