We CAN cook!

I love cooking. I’d like to think that I am
the next contender for Masterchef (but sadly I’m probably a little deluded). I have been desperate to start cooking with J. We’ve baked a lot of rock cakes and flapjacks. But I’ve really wanted to start cooking with him.

J loves doing what I’m doing and also sitting ‘up’ as he calls it on the worktop. We attempted making Coleslaw a while ago. But I’ve struggled to think how I could cook a meal with him with hot pans etc.

A few weeks ago a friend of mine told me she’s started using a slow cooker and she loves it. So I was inspired. I managed to borrow one to try it out and I have taken to it like a duck to water.

The best thing about it is that J can sit next to me and help me prepare our meal.

I chop all the veg and I tell him what each one is. He then sometimes tries some. Raw onion and garlic didn’t go down well (he went for it I didn’t offer). But his favourite bit is pushing all the ingredients off the chopping board into the bowl. He has also started to break up all the mushrooms for me. That’s his little job now and he takes it very seriously. I give him a spoon (or the other day he wanted to use a whisk) and he mixes all the ingredients , whilst I prepare the next bit.

There are many benefits to a slow cooker, which reach far beyond cooking with an 18 month old. Just look on the many slow cooker blogs out there.

But for me, having the opportunity to cook with J, for him to be involved without the fear of being burnt, and to eat the food he has made is great for us both.

I am hoping that this is sowing the seed for him being interested in food for a long time to come.

Learning about food

J’s speech is coming on amazingly. Everyday he says something that I have no idea where it came from. This morning he put his hand in his cereal and told me it was ‘cold’. I think I’ve only ever told him about things being hot.

He is picking up everything, we have to be very careful about what we say.

The more he speaks and the more he understands, I’ve noticed he gets a little less frustrated, which is great.
He has started to ask specifically for food he wants. It’s very cute.

So I’ve been trying to think of more ways to teach him food names. And this afternoon, I’ve finally finished my plan.
A while ago on one of my Pinterest binges, I saw this great idea for helping with fine motor skills. They’d created a monster out of an wet wipe box and then the task was to feed it with pom poms and different things. It was such a good idea. So I made a monster and J fed him dried pasta, we also tried dried lentils. It was great fun. Today I’ve printed off and laminated some food, which we can feed the monster.

2015/01/img_2277.jpg

I want to do this activity with him, and then I can tell him what the food is. I’m also hoping it will get him more interested in different types of food. We’ll see.

And whilst I’m borrowing a friends laminator, I’ve made J some credit cards and loyalty cards. He loves playing with my purse and taking out my cards and I’m a bit worried I’ll lose a very important card, so I made him his own.

2015/01/img_2278-0.jpg

Is it bad that I’m loving having a laminator?

Hoover

About 6 months ago J started to be interested in hoovers. I thought it was quite sweet, how he would play with it and he tried to find out how it all worked. But as time has gone on, the interest has turned into an obsession. He loves the hoover, he talks about it all the time, wants to play with it all the time and recently has started to watch YouTube videos on how they make Dyson vacuum cleaners (he won’t watch cartoons on TV but will watch these). I didn’t realise how much there was to know about the things. Then at Christmas, he was given a toy Henry Hoover from Granny and Grandpa and the obsession hit new levels. We didn’t see him for 3 days and now we have a short screaming session when we turn off our Hoover or his (don’t worry I don’t give in!)

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/99e/70531971/files/2015/01/img_7672-0.jpg

I’ve been through many feelings about the Hoover… I’ve been worried that there might be something wrong with him. I’ve been completely fed up with the constant hoover noise, whether it is coming from our hoover, his toy hoover or just him making the noise because we won’t turn it on. I’ve also felt pleased that he’s found something he’s interested in.

I read somewhere that originally he might of been scared of the hoover and getting to know it helped him with his fear. That does seem plausible. But I also think he’s just into things like hoovers, fans (can spot one anywhere, I didn’t realise how many things have fans in) and mixers.

I’ve tried all sorts to avert his interest, which didn’t really work. So I have tried to do things with him on a theme. For example today we made a fan… Don’t laugh, it took me all of 5 mins to make it and he wasn’t that bothered about colouring it.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/99e/70531971/files/2015/01/img_2266.jpg

But he was interested in the fan itself and how it was spinning.

Then this afternoon after playing with some tin flan dishes he threw them on the floor and watched them spin. He loved it. On a worrying note, I’ve put the flan dishes somewhere after tidying up and can’t find them anywhere!

A while ago we also sucked paper up using a straw. I cut up squares of paper and then used the straw to suck them onto the end of the straw. He quite enjoyed that.

I’ve come to a place of acceptance with the Hoover obsession, and I’m letting it happen. We’ll keep trying to find new things to interest him today we’ve also been jumping like Lemurs and reading a book called ‘How to lose a Lemur’ by Frann Preston-Gannon.

You never know, one day he might design a super vacuum cleaner.