Baking, Cooking and Creativity-How Moms Can Learn to Let Go

Michael is back to baking. We went through a period of time a few months ago when we baked cookies, muffins, cakes every weekend. He would solemnly say “I’m practicing math, right Mommy? I’m practicing fractions and measuring.”  He was parotting me at the beginning of our baking experience. I loved it, though it was getting expensive, and both of us put on weight. 🙂 Then we moved away from baking to Michael helping me cook supper and sampling the spices at the same time. Supper took longer to make, and he had to try each and every ingredient (can we all say control together), but despite a little bit of arguing over don’t put the spoon in your mouth in the frying pan to stir, it went well.

Now we are back to cooking and baking, however with a new spin on it. Michael has had a lot of anxiety lately, and when he is stressed, out come the imaginary friends. Meeko, Pocahontas’s racoon friend is one of them, but now he has moved this week to a Red Lantern Superhero figurine. He carries him around the house, and is insisting on baking for him and Meeko. His baking involves mixing all spices, milk and other ingredients in a bowl, stirring, and then, you guessed it, leaving it there for them to eat. Michael will sample a bit, but then it usually gets left aside. I am only too happy that he is not eating this experiment. Though my husband and I are proud of his imaginative ways, and I reminded myself that we could steer him in the direction of chemistry and science with this, the waste of food, and the mess he is causing has been sparking some of my tantrums. And they have not been too pretty since I have not been sleeping well lately.

But after a few days of Michale persisting in making these creations, and me in making my verbal demonstrations, it occurred to me, that this may be a signal that he is ready for more responsibility and control in his daily life. Eureka! Better late than never, right. So when I suggested that he bake REAL recipes for Meeko and Red Lantern with me supervising, and not helping, (except of course with the the mixer and oven), he agreed and the power struggle was over! It’s been great the past few days. He made a fruit dip and yesterday some lemon cupcakes. But the cupcakes were not for Meeko, as he is on a Gluten Free Diet. Michael is ready to take on more responsibility and I am going to give it to him.  I’m sure like me, you’ve all learned by trial and error what works with your child, and the brave ones among us let them take the lead. I wish for all of you out there that you see the new path your child is taking you on and go with it right from the beginning. Yet another way our children are helping us to be exceptional parents and human beings. Until next time.

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