I'm not much of a cook, but Friday I decided to make dinner for Dave and me after Max and Ben went to sleep (Sabrina's is at camp). Turns out that Max had other ideas.
Prep was a no-brainer because I'd gotten meal kits from Terra's Kitchen, a food delivery service that specializes in healthy entrees. We fed the kids dinner, I tucked Ben in, and got cracking on the BBQ Salmon with Caramelized Pineapple Relish and yes, I got hungry just typing that. Max was about to head upstairs with Dave but he spotted me opening the ingredients. He came over and made a stirring motion with one hand—as in, he wanted to help cook.
I really liked the idea of Max cooking for us. He requires a fair amount of help with life skills, and I thought it would be empowering for him to do something for Dave and me—and good for his perspective. With all the attention Max receives, he can be a bit egocentric (although Sabrina is the same and my friends gripe that their children sometimes act that way, too, so there ya go: KIDS). Besides, Max enjoys making food and I'm happy to nurture that passion. It's a great fine-motor-skills workout, plus I'd love for him to learn to cook...for US! (See: "I'm not much of a cook.")
The ingredients were super-fresh, good-looking and pre-packaged and pre-cut. Max stirred together the brown sugar, chili powder, paprika and cumin for the salmon rub as I chopped up the pineapple, onion, and cilantro for the relish. The results, accompanied by jasmine rice and green beans, were impressive.
Max thought so, too. Because he sat down at the table to join us.
"No, Max, you're going to sleep and Daddy and I are having Dinner together!" I reminded him.
Uh, no. Max wanted to stay.
"It looks good!" he pointed out. It really did:
To be sure, teaching Max that Mommy and Daddy deserve time alone would have also been a good lesson. But we caved. Turns out Max only wanted the Jasmine Rice, a boy after my own carb heart. And so, we gave him most of the rice. And then the three of us had one very nice, non-romantic dinner.