The Sweet Taste of Success

Gail is a great mom. She has three little ones to care for and would have more if they came along. Her children are always polite, play well with others and seem very easy-going. I give her a lot of credit in this department since her husband Gil is not home on time every night, especially when he has house calls to make. Sometimes, Gail will ask me to watch her children for short periods or if she gets in a bind with her regular sitters.

Gail spends individual time with each of her children to teach them kitchen skills, which is very commendable. I do include my kids when baking but it is more like “play” baking. What Gail teaches her children is real cooking. Although age appropriate and simple, their skills are real and her children will be able to feed themselves in the future. Self-sustainable children are a challenging goal.

We sometimes start our days with minor skirmishes over bed making but I am not giving up on this battle. I don’t expect military corners but a neat bed to start the day. I confess to being a bit of a nag against clothes on the floor too. Both children have hampers in their closets for laundry. Now that would be a great skill to have someone learn.

The one habit I tried to keep from creeping into my morning routine was starting the day with a complaint. It’s hard to do when a child appears at the kitchen dinette with completely mismatched or inappropriate clothing. Holding my tongue isn’t my strong suit but I thought back to the mornings of my youth when the greeting I heard most mornings was “Are you wearing that?” The question did not inspire confidence in my fashion choices. My answer to that dilemma is never to let any complaints come out of my mouth before we have established that it is a good morning. The result is that our mornings have been pleasant; well, at least not traumatic. It’s easier to accept Junior’s mismatched shirts and pants when I don’t lie out his clothes the night before. Daisy gets into these moods where she insists on wearing similar accessories every day. She wore a child-sized apron on top off every dress for a month straight. When I wanted to wash it, she sat next to the washer until she was assured I hadn’t ruined it. She is a girly-girl but she has an edge. She refused to give Junior his favorite holster and play gun for a week and wore it constantly at home. When he approached her to beg for its return, she would remove the gun from the holster, point it at Junior and give him a stern warning to back away. We all did as requested. Eventually she replaced that need when she came upon an old sweater of mine that she wore as a long coat with the sleeves up. I prayed that she did not ever say she wanted to work in the fashion industry.

Gail called to see if Gracie could come over for a visit while she took the other two for new shoes. I was anxious to have the chance to see what Gracie had recently learned from her mother in the kitchen and agreed easily. Later, when Gail returned, we were all sitting around the kitchenette enjoying scrambled eggs. Gail had recently shown Gracie how to make them and I was able to learn Gail’s secret to softly scrambled eggs. They were delicious. I lightly toasted some homemade bread and served them on top. I might have to hang around Gail’s  children for more lessons.

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