04 February, 2009

(near) deathbed epiphany

Believe it or not I'm still sick. And I'm sick of being sick. The flu hit me pretty hard about three weeks ago, then simmered on the back burner for two weeks, and then reared its ugly head again. I'm wiped out! Saw a doctor, and he confirmed what I'd already suspected: it's probably a virus and the only thing to do now is rest and wait. and maybe grumble a little.

Yesterday I was writing a (somewhat whiney) email to a friend and bemoaning the fact that I need to get back to health if only just to be able to cook again. M has done a great job in the evenings of taking over the kids and the housework, but he has been feeding us toast and pizza and all sorts of ready-made "food" from the supermarket.

The funny thing is, he is able to cook, just has no interest in making anything other than pancakes and the occasional extravagant Dutch meatball when he starts feeling carnivorous.

The other thing that's been wearing me out over the past couple of weeks are lunches. The kids are growing and eating nonstop, which means that lunch turns into a marathon of me running back and forth to the kitchen and acting as a short order cook. I'd never noticed it before, but I'm even toasting their bread for them, which is ridiculous!

And suddenly it dawned on me: over the years I've been pushing M and the kids out of the kitchen. I love to cook, and have staked this territory out as my own. They have become completely dependent on me for their sustenance, and I am doing them (and myself) a disservice!

As of today there are new rules around here at Chez V. I'll provide one warm dish for S and B when they get home from school. If they are still hungry after that they're welcome to eat all the fruit, cereal, cheese, toast and plain yoghurt they want, but they must prepare it themselves. And once a week on Wednesdays the boys will help me plan and make dinner. After all, cooking isn't all that hard, it's just a matter of practice.

Thanks to a good spin-job S and B see this new turn of events as a sign that they're maturing and they're excited about their new responsibilities. (for now.) And I'm feeling relieved and am glad I finally wised up and can pass on some new important skills...

I may have been feeling crappy lately, but there is a silver lining to this puss-colored cloud: my near-deathbed epiphany. Now if I can just finally beat this virus so that I can join the land of the living again-- then we'll be golden!

9 comments:

honeypiehorse said...

I know what you mean! My kids are still pretty small but dinnertime is a one-man show, with me doing everything from cooking, bringing water, refilling the water, bringing a cooler spoon, mediating arguments about the Sponge Bob fork and the Barbamama plate, force-feeding and cleaning up. Even getting them to feed themselves takes a ton of nagging and threats of no dessert. I've tried delegating with mixed success and wish you all the best with that. And I hope you feel better soon.

Betsy said...

See, that's how it's always been here. Which is why just out of habit I've continued to do everything, even though at 7 and 9 they're obviously now old enough to do it themselves.

I put a good spin on it, so they're excited about the idea for now, but I don't think it will be long before they start wishing for the "good old days" to return.

I'll be sure to keep you posted on my "experiment".

Thanks for the well-wishes!

anno said...

Oh, you're at that awful short-order cook stage. Definitely time to be taking the steps you're taking. Consider needle-pointing that 6th paragraph (in a pinch, magic markers will do) and hanging it in the kitchen.

Sorry to hear this virus still has you in its clutches -- hope you're feeling better soon!

Africakid said...

Get well! I've been fighting off a horrible virus the past few weeks too. Drink lots of vitamin C and echinachea!

And kudos to you for teaching your boys how to cook. I think my son is the best cook of our 3 children...

Betsy said...

Thanks Anno and Laurie! :-)

Last night B helped with dinner and he was THRILLED! As with everything, he took it very seriously and planned a whole menu including oven-baked chicken with a cornflake crust. It was nice to get out of my normal recipe repertoire and it was a resounding success!

I think this is going to turn out to be one of my better ideas...

Goofball said...

if you want to be cooking with them: check http://dooreenrozebril.wordpress.com/ for recipes to cook with your children


Although I just realise that you want vegeterian recipes??

Betsy said...

Wow, Goofball, those recipes look delicious! And she's even doing them on Wednesdays, too. I think it's a sign! :-)

thank you!

Betsy said...

Oh, and they don't all have to be vegetarian recipes. M and the kids still eat meat once in a while, and as long as the side dish is vegetarian I'm happy!

On Wednesday B and I cooked chicken, but we also made mashed potatoes and a really nice salad. I'm not going hungry, that's for sure! :-)

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Betsy, I'm so sorry you've been sick for so long. I've been down with some other stuff, and it's miserable. I've also done that same thing of pushing my boys out of the kitchen, and I'm trying to correct it now. Stick to your guns - I've been successful on and off with C, but at the moment he STILL feels he can't cook.