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When Kids Make Their Food

It has been an ongoing battle. My little girl is getting to the age where she, not necessarily can properly maker her own food…but she certainly wants to try. “What do you want for breakfast today?” I asked. “Peanut butter and jelly!” she quickly replied. “But Mom, I want to make it.” “Okay” I thought to myself. She can make it. I mean, how bad could it be. The worst would be that I would have a little bit of peanut butter to clean up afterwards, right? Well, you see, my idea of peanut butter and jelly actually includes peanut butter, AND, jelly. “First I need the bread”, she spoke out loud.

I did have to help her a little bit, and that was all she would let me do. I handed her two pieces of bread on a paper plate. “Now I need the jelly.” This seemed like it was going to go without a hitch til I heard her say “actually, I need the ketchup” I thought for a second about telling her no, and then better judgment left me.

After all, this is her sandwich, and she is making it all by herself. I handed her the ketchup and she grabbed it almost so quickly as to make sure I didn’t change my mind. She squirted a healthy dose all over the bread and smiled, delighted with her creation thus far. “Mom” she says, “I need the mayonnaise”. I could hardly contain my laughter, but I just nodded and opened the refrigerator once more and retrieved the mayo. Restraint isn’t a 6 year old’s strong suit, and another healthy dose of condiment covered the bread, and mixed in with the ketchup. She handed me back the mayonnaise with an air of culinary profoundness. “Looks great, what else?” I regretfully asked.

She glanced back at me very matter of factly; “cheese, we need cheese.” A slice of processed cheese upon request to a little girl who was becoming quite pleased with her masterful creation. “Is that all?” I blurted out, almost closing the sandwich for her to stop the madness. “One more thing” she added, as if ketchup, mayonnaise and cheese didn’t already make the perfect “peanut butter and jelly sandwich”. “Do we have any creamed corn?”

This, I thought, was the final straw. I couldn’t let this happen. That is no longer a sandwich, and become the creation of a madwoman. But again, better judgment left me, as I got her the creamed corn. I don’t know what sort of lesson this was going to teach her, but I thought for a second at least she would let me make the sandwiches from now on. I opened the corn, and she spooned a healthy dose right out on top of the cheese.

She closed the sandwich together and proclaimed that it was absolutely perfect. I helped her cut it in half on her plate and she sat down at the table. She took a few bites and I asked her how her sandwich was. “Mom, this is the….. BEST SANDWICH EVER!” And trust me when I say, she ate the entire thing.

What do I know about being a chef anyway?

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I was compensated by Happy Family and Burst for this post.

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