While initially it seemed like a pretty daunting task, I soon came to realize that not one of these chefs would last ten minutes in MY kitchen. Here's how dinner time goes:
- Roughly one hour before, all three younger boys begin asking for snacks, ranging from frozen waffles to chicken nuggets, all to be prepared by me
- For the entire dinner preparation time (10-45 minutes, depending on the meal), they will continue to ask for snacks
- For the same period of time, I will continue to repeat, "We're eating dinner in a few minutes! And even if I wanted to make you a snack, I've only got two hands and I'm making dinner right now!"
- Every time I pull out a dish, open a can, or chop a vegetable, many little hands want to "help."
- Every time one little set of hands is allowed to help, more little hands appear, demanding equal time.
- Then I have to clean up the spills which the clash over ingredients inevitably causes.
- Or bandage the cuts because, "Don't put your hand there, I'm chopping vegetables" apparently is code for "Minor cuts get you lots of sympathy. Get a hand in here!"
- Or run cold water over the burns, because we all know a pot isn't hot unless you test it yourself.
- Then I have to dodge little bodies on my way to and from the refrigerator or pantry. And they move a LOT, almost guaranteeing someone's foot will get stepped on.
- Which means more time out for hugs and apologies.
- And assuming I can actually get them to stay out of the kitchen, I have a lovely soundtrack of screaming and fighting to accompany my cooking.
That would be a great episode, wouldn't it? Hey, Food Network, send your contestants to my house for dinner! That will REALLY test them!