Monday, February 28, 2011


The following takes places between the hours of 10:30 am and 11:30 am.

It's 10:30 am. Tali's in bed. Amanda and Ana are hungry. I tell Amanda to dig out some potatoes. She gets the colander and starts filling it with potatoes from the drawer. Ana follows me as I pull the venison sausages out of the freezer. She tries to grab something out of the freezer too. Then she pushes her chair over to the stove where I set the sausages. The colander is full but Amanda's still grabbing more potatoes. I set the colander into the sink on top of the dirty dishes. Amanda pushes her chair to the sink and begins scrubbing the potatoes. I grab the dirty spatula that Ana's about to put in her mouth. She reaches for the dirty pan.

I get the counter and stove cleared and grab a pot. I ask Amanda to fill it with water for the sausage. Ana wants to use the knife I'm using to open the sausages. I say, "No." She begins to cry and gets down off her chair. She climbs up onto Amanda's chair. The pot is very full of water now. I dump most of it out and put in the sausages. Amanda says the potatoes are washed. I grab the cutting board and the potato peeler. Amanda sees the peeler and searches for another one. She gets down off her chair and gets onto Ana's chair. Ana begins to play with the clean bottles in the drying rack. I put them out of reach. Amanda's having trouble peeling potatoes. She says she wants to peel carrots instead. I tell her we are having potatoes. Amanda wants me to help her peel potatoes. I try to show her how to do it and get back to peeling mine.

Amanda's still having trouble and wants me to help her. I ask her if she's hungry. She says that she is. I tell her that I better do it quick. Ana's putting dirty dishes in her mouth. I give her a scrub brush. I tell Amanda to help clean up the peels. She cleans up the ones on the cutting board and begins grabbing them out of my hand as them come off the peeler. Ana is playing with the peeled potatoes that are going back into the colander in the sink. She is tasting them. She drops one on the floor. I send her down to pick it up. I know it will buy me some time. The potatoes are almost peeled. Ana drops one on my toes. Then she throws down another one. I send her down again and finish the rest. I begin rinsing the potatoes off. As I'm washing the potatoes Amanda returns to the chair at the sink. As I'm getting out the bar pan, Ana returns to the chair at the stove. Amanda want to help cut the potatoes. I ask her again if she's hungry. She agrees to put the potatoes onto the bar pan after they're cut. Christiana is playing with a clean spatula at the stove. I keep her from stirring the sausages that are sitting in the cold water.

Potatoes are chopped into fries. I drizzle olive oil over the fries and stir with Ana's spatula. I sprinkle dill and sea salt over them. Both girls request a taste of the dill and salt. Ana wants more dill. Amanda has been holding a fry that she wants to use as a party candle. I tell her to finish eating it since she had already taken bites and choose another one to place vertically in the pan. I place the fries in the oven. I give the bowl of peels to Amanda to place into the compost bag. Ana wants to help. Amanda says that she can't. I tell her to let Ana help. I start the sausages.

I put the silverware basket in the sink and tell the girls to fill it with silverware while I put away the clean dishes in the drying rack from last night. Amanda puts stuff in. Christiana takes it out. Amanda grabs Ana's hand. Ana leans over and bites Amanda. Amanda screeches. I remind Ana to be gentle and not bite. "Mwah!" She kisses Amanda. I explain to Amanda that it's okay if Ana takes stuff out because that's how she learns. Both girls are standing on the chair near the sink. I slide the other one next to it so they don't fall off that way. I stand in the space between the chairs and the open dishwasher door. Ana picks up a dish. I take it and wipe it with a soapy rag then put it in the dishwasher.

Amanda is filling a peanut butter jar with water. Ana tries to put a spoon in her mouth. I move faster to remove objects as soon as Ana picks them up. Ana wants to fill something with water too. I don't let her because she always dumps it on the floor. There is only silverware left in her sink and she's getting fussy. I give her the dish brush that's full of soap and show her how it makes bubbles. Amanda is still filling and spilling the peanut butter jar. She also hands me the dirty dishes from the counter.

The dishes are done and I get out the mushrooms to rinse. The fries are done. Amanda gets out a plate for herself and brings it to the stove. I tell her to get one for Ana and to grab the ketchup. Ana is making smacking noises indicating she's hungry. I load up their plates with fries and they watch me chop the mushrooms and place them in the sizzling oil. Their fries are cool so I put them in their chairs to eat. Ah! Peace at last.

They are contently munching their fries. Ana's is humming like she always does when she eats. I finish frying the mushrooms and chop the sausages. I add some dried onion, cooked wild rice and liquid from the sausages to the pan. That's Mike's meal. I set it to low to keep warn until he gets home. I give the girls some sausage. I microwave some green beans and grind them with the hand blender for Ana after giving some to Amanda. Finally I sit down to feed Ana the beans and eat my fries and sausage. Amanda announces she needs to use the bathroom which means she will need me shortly. I help her get cleaned up. She's back at the table. Mike gets home. "Daddy!!!"

It's 11:30 am. Their tummy's are full and so is the sink. Again.


Karen said...

Sounds like my life...but perhaps more hectic!

Kristi said...

Lol!! I will plant some snow peas, only if, yall promise to drive down here! haha!!

Lynnette said...

Thank you for posting this! I've been using it as a learning tool in our house. I read most of the post to our 3 kids (ages 6, 4, and 3) and told them to listen to what all Amanda and Ana did to help and what all the mom told them they couldn't do. Then, when I was done reading, they were each going to guess how old Amanda and Ana were. They guessed Christiana to be 2 or 3 since she was playing with the dirty spatula. Kendra guessed Amanda to be 4, but then decided that was too young because Amanda was doing things that Kendra doesn't do. Evan guessed Amanda to be 8. After they had guessed, I showed them pictures of Amanda and Christiana and told them how old the two girls in the story were, and asked them if they thought maybe they're old enough to help more in our house. And if Mommy should be more willing to let them help. They agreed to both parts, and they've been a LOT more helpful and self-sufficient the last two days.
You taught us all a lot, and you are now my hero! :)

Mike and Katie said...

Ah, yes! Mommy being willing to let them help...that is the hardest part! Everything takes so much longer but what else are we going to do with our day? If they weren't helping I'd be pausing to break up fights, so it's slightly less stressful to have them within hands reach. :)

Today Amanda was being a puppy and wanted to hold her leash while she crawled down head first as we went down stairs to switch the laundry. I thought, "Uhg! This is going to take forever!" But then I realized that I really had nothing else pressing to do and it would pass the minutes before Mike would come home.

However, I am motivated to get the dishes done at night so I can just lay on the floor and play with them some days too.