Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Life in Miniature

If you ever really want to know about yourself...just watch your toddler. It can be pretty revealing.

I have never been a great cook, by any means...but I think I have the basics down pretty well. In fact, I have even ventured beyond the normal frozen chicken breasts and hot dogs. Admittedly, I have googled how to properly make baked potatoes...but on the whole, I'd say I do a decent enough job.

Irelynn's favorite pretend game is to make something in her kitchen. She asked me to play with her the other day. I think to myself, see...I must do pretty good if my toddler knows her way around her own kitchen and enjoys pretending to cook. She pats the ground, indicating that I should sit down and watch while she prepares our dinner.

She begins by pretending to wash her hands, and searches for her dishes. I smile, noticing the attention to hygiene. Then she decides we are having tea. She carefully pours the beverage into the cups, and then, one by one, puts them in her toy microwave. She presses the buttons, and then makes a loud whirring noise.

"Ding ding! They're done...hold on...it's hot." She blows on it, and hands it to me. Then, she decides we are having cheeseburgers. I start to open the oven.

"No...microwave," she instructs. She puts the "cheeseburger" in the microwave. Then, apparently her cell phone rang. She picks up the plastic phone, and presses a button before putting it up to her ear.

"Hello? Oh, hi. Nothin'....what are you doing? Oh. I just making cheeseburgers. You want to come over? Uh huh...hold on..." she pauses, turns to her doll, and says, "what? I'm on the phone. Just a minute. Yeah...you there? I talk later. Bye."

"Who was that?" I ask.

"Uncle Chris."

She continues moving about her kitchen, rotating food through cycles in the microwave. She stops only momentarily to tell me she is looking on her laptop to see how to make eggs. She washes her hands when she finishes.

Well...at least I know I must be clean, regardless of my cooking skills.

She has even begun taking my tone with the older children. As they launched into their usual dinnertime argument, Irelynn calmly interrupted, without looking up from her food.

"Shut up you guys. Be nice."

Jaylond looked up, nervously, as he had just used the words "shut up" in retort to Marissa's last comment.

"I'm sorry, Irelynn...Jay Jay shouldn't have said that....you shouldn't say that..."

Irelynn glanced up.

"I didn't. You said that. Those are bad words. You guys need to shut up."

I sigh. Bruce laughs. Marissa smiles. Jaylond just stares at Irelynn, not knowing how to respond.

Sometimes I look at her in awe, and wonder if she can really barely be three years old. Then she dumps Moonsand on her head and giggles and I realize that yes....yes she can.

I think I am going to use the crock pot today. That's slightly better than the microwave, right? At least I won't have to google that.

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