Shameless Things I've Done for My Daughter in the Kitchen
If you're a parent, you've done crazy things, too!
This How It All Started
While growing up I ate everything that my mother prepared for our family to eat whether I liked the foods placed before or hated them. My father worked very hard to ensure that no meals were ever missed. Neither my sisters nor I ever told my mother what we wanted or what our preferences were. That was sometimes reserved for special occasions like birthdays. It was just customary to simply eat whatever was placed on the dinner table.
My entire family ate meals together when my mother prepared them. I did so whether I was hungry or not ready to eat. None of us ever took our time getting to the dinner table because we were doing something else. Once our meals were placed on the table, dinner time became what was important for my family. Nothing else mattered.
My sisters and I were not permitted to snack between meals. We waited for our meals to be prepared and we were given a snack to enjoy after dinner if and only if my mother or father give us a treat that we could enjoy.
Before we had a dishwasher, my sisters and I were the dishwashers and the dish dryers. We all shared the responsibility of clearing the table after our meals including storing leftovers properly and cleaning up.
Now that I am the mother of a 15-year-old daughter and even though our immediate family consists of the two of us, I can honestly say with all certainty that times have changed.
When it comes to all things related to meal preparation, eating meals, and cleaning up, there is a huge difference between what I was expected to do while growing up and what my daughter does. I am embarrassed about the contrast between the younger version of myself and the way my daughter is. I’m ashamed.
There is so much shame that I have an entire list of ten shameful things that I have done and continue to do in the kitchen as it relates to my daughter.
My Top Ten Shameful Kitchen Acts
I heard horror stories of children choking on hotdogs. So, when I served her larger sausage links like bratwurst and hotdogs, I either cut them into small slices or cut them into two lengthwise pieces before placing them in buns or before serving them as an accompaniment with other foods.
While I stopped slicing the meat in half before putting them in buns a few years ago, I very recently stopped slicing the larger sausages for her.
I often ask my daughter what she wants to eat for her meals. Menus are planned around what she is in the mood for a lot of the time.
When my daughter is hungry, she usually grabs a snack to eat even when I am preparing meals. In most cases, this interferes with her lunch or dinner appetite.
When it does, I reheat our food so that we can eat it together. But, sometimes I need to wait a long time if I am hungry because she may not be.
Whenever my daughter needs to pack a lunch or take a snack to a special event, I always go overboard.
Typically, I make a special visit to the grocery store to purchase a variety to foods and beverages to give my daughter healthy and fun choices while she dines. I also make sure she has extras like a napkin, sanitizing wipes, plastic flatware, and a straw. Additionally, I make sure there is enough for a friend who may have forgotten their food.
Once she returns home from her activity, I am nearly always disappointed that she did not feast as I planned that she would because most of the food is still in her fancy insulated lunch bag and has remained untouched.
I actually have a history of doing this. When my daughter was a younger student at a traditional school, I always filled her lunch bag with a large assortment of snacks. I did this even when she purchased a prepared lunch at school.
I just don’t ever want my child to go hungry when she is away from home.
I especially love preparing breakfast for my daughter. Once I make sure she is ready to eat, I prepare a nice place setting for her. Healthy and delicious foods are arranged for her on assorted plates. I always make sure that she has fresh seasonal fruit to eat, too.
Whether it’s a smoothie, milk, fruit juices, or flavored hot coffee or tea, I make sure my daughter has beverages that accompany her breakfast.
(This is the same routine that I follow for lunch when she wants to eat. Sometimes breakfasts are so filling that she does not want to eat anything before going to athletic training.)
Since my daughter has been cyber-schooled for the past four school years, I take pride in being her private cafeteria lady.
Sometimes I surprise her with special breakfast and lunch creations. Other times I will wake up extra early to prepare foods that take a long time to cook. (I am getting ready to slow cook some homemade grape jelly in my crockpot all night so that she will enjoy it with croissants in the morning for breakfast.)
I excuse my daughter from cleaning up the kitchen most of the time because of her busy schedule. She is a hardworking athlete who trains five to six days a week.
Her schedule is compounded by educational flexibility due to cyber school. Because her classes can take place at any time, I typically excuse her from this chore. And, I take care of the clean-up so that she can focus on her recorded classes and assignments.
From the time my daughter was very young and began eating solid foods, I always cut her grapes in half. Larger grapes were quartered. I did this because grapes are a known chocking hazard among children.
A few months ago my daughter told me that I didn’t need to cut her grapes anymore. So, I stopped.
When my daughter was very young, I began cutting her toast and sandwiches into points. I simply cut the bread diagonally in opposite directions so that each small piece has three points and becomes a tea sandwich of sorts.
Now she expects me to cut all of her toast and sandwiches into points. And the most shocking thing is that I do.
Here is the most shameful thing that takes place in my kitchen.
I observed my daughter eat her buttered and jellied toast points that I prepared for her earlier today. As she savored every bite, her pinky was extended. She ate like she was a member of the royal family.
This is the actual stance she assumes when she eats her toast and sandwich points.
So, What Do You Admit to Doing for Your Children in the Kitchen?
I know I’m not the only parent who breaks rules when it comes to preparing food for our children.
So, exactly what do YOU do?
Thank you for sharing a hearty laugh with me.
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This story was originally published on Medium.com in Doctor Funny.
As a mom, former family and consumer sciences teacher, and school administrator, I write about parenting, family, and education topics. Visit www.Drdeborahmvereen.com to view my work as a family engagement influencer & my YouTube channel!