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Cooking and caution

November 17, 2010

So the other day, Little Frog decided he was going to make scrambled eggs… for real. When I asked him if he’d like to help me make scrambled eggs, he said “No Mama. Do it self!” In other words, he didn’t want my help – he wanted to make the eggs himself. He’d helped me do it before, and was confident that he could without my aid this time. I told him he’d need my help with a few things, but was willing to let him do most of it himself. I helped him crack the egg into the bowl, and poured the milk. He mixed it, poured it into the pan, added the cheese and salt and pepper, and stirred the eggs in the pan on the stove. He was upset when I wouldn’t let him slice the green onions himself, but I told him he doesn’t get to use the sharp knife yet. As I put the finished eggs into the bowl, he put his hand down – ever so briefly – on the burner coil. He’d been touching the cool burner and not listening to me when I told him not to do that, because sometimes the burner is hot. I saw him start to set his hand down, but before I could get anything out of my mouth, his hand had touched. Fortunately we hadn’t had the burner on high, so it didn’t burn as badly as it could have. No blistering, and only a slight raised area on one part of his palm, and two red stripes on his palm where he’d touched the coil.

I posted it in my status on Facebook (FB) later in the day (after he’d calmed down, had nursed and then fallen asleep for the nap that he’d cut short earlier). My sister was stunned that my two yr old was cooking at the stove, my mother was cautionary, and one of the other moms that posted was congratulatory that we’re letting him pursue the desire – even if it’s a little dangerous. The next day, I heard from my mom that I should probably not be posting stuff like that on FB, since it could come back to get me later, i.e. some one who took exception to it could report me to Child Protective Services, and then a whole huge investigation would ensue. Because my two yr old was cooking – with me supervising the whole time – and accidentally burned his hand. Older children have burned themselves while cooking (like my 10 yr old niece who cooked her first eggs the day before Little Frog burned himself), but no one thinks to warn parents that posting about it could warrant a visit from the government.

Since when have we become so fearful of our lives, and our childrens’ lives, that we’re willing to report anyone for anything? This little boy is very definitely not afraid of much, and wants to be involved in everything. He was unwilling to stand idly by while Mama had all the fun of cooking the food. If I help him achieve the things he wants, and he gains confidence in his abilities, how can that be a bad thing? Should I stop posting on FB, just in case a random someone should happen to hack into my account and read what I’ve written and decide to take issue with it and report me? Should I start living in fear that I will be reported for letting my children follow those desires, for encouraging them to take risks in a supervised manner? I think that sounds like a horrible idea… lack of quality of life.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 17, 2010 2:29 pm

    I also think that it is commendable that you encourage your little one to “help”. It is most of the times easier to not let them “help”!
    I don’t think that anyone can report you about something like this. You were there! Accidents happen, not only at the stove!

    • November 17, 2010 2:35 pm

      Yeah, my best friend commented that I have way more patience than she did. She always just had her son sit down and wait til the food was ready. There are time I have him not help, but since we all mostly enjoy cooking, it seems like the best way to encourage that for him is to let him be involved. It also makes for fewer battles and struggles if the times that Mama says no are tempered by the more often occurences of Mama saying yes. 🙂

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