It was a Monday. In January (I'm trying to eat better!). I wasn't in the mood for pie. However, it's so rare for Ethan to initiate a completely new activity, I didn't want to pass up the chance.
After dinner we decided Anna would help him make the pie. This took an incredible amount of negotiating. First, Ethan wanted me to be there with him (I had to agree to "supervise" from the couch). Then he said Anna would be too bossy. Then he was tempted by the Wii game daddy was playing and almost threw in the towel.
But, lo and behold, by 7 p.m. all three of our kiddos were in the kitchen (somewhat peacefully) making an apple pie. Well, Chloe was stirring (and eating!) a bowlful of flour and water paste. But it made her feel important I think, and apparently tasted good ("Mmm-mmm!"), so she was happy.
|Not a great picture, but there it is -- evidence!|
Anna and Ethan rarely play together, for many reasons. She's a girl and he's a boy. They're 3 1/2 years apart. They have different interests. They're also both really stubborn. Neither wants to compromise when it comes to deciding on a game. In the past, they both enjoyed playing school (with Anna as teacher and Ethan as student, of course) but in recent years Ethan has gotten smart. He's tired of Anna bossing him around, and Anna's tired of the ways Ethan purposely tries to irritate her.
But thanks to a lot of episodes of Master Chef, and Anna's current culinary arts class at school, cooking has become common ground.
For 45 minutes they measured and cut and stirred. Then we realized it was getting too late and they were going to have to finish the next day. I took one look at a pile of cut apples and pointed out to Anna that they still had peels on them.
"They're easier to peel that way," she replied. Ummm...
The next afternoon, while he still wanted his screen time right after homework, Ethan announced that he and Anna HAD to finish that pie. So after dinner was Apple Pie Baking, take 2.
Once again, the kitchen was a disaster area. Once again, I looked at the apple slices covered with sugar and piled high in the pie pan and wanted to know why they still had peels on them.
"Ooops," was Anna's answer.
An hour later the pie was out of the oven. And while the peels were a little chewy, and the crust was a little stale (Anna hadn't properly covered it in the fridge overnight), all in all the pie tasted pretty darned good. Anna is developing quite a talent. I wasn't baking pies at age 11.
Ironically, Ethan's not a huge fan of pie. He didn't even finish his slice.
But he tried something new. And they did it together. Without fighting. I'd call that a win for sure.