Thursday, January 15, 2009

"What should I do with these kids?!?"

I wish I was creative enough in my kitchen that I had something interesting to post in Alaina's Keeping Creative Kitchens every single week. Unfortunately, "dinner time" has got to be one of the most stressful times. Honestly. The kids are getting up from their naps (if they've actually fallen asleep), their either cranky or hyper, the phone is inevitably ringing, Brad's on his way home, and I'm trying to think of something that I can make for supper that can be ready when he walks through the door. I've been off and on (but mostly on) for the past year or so with my menu planning, and that has been a true lifesaver. Really. It's great to not have to sit and think about what I'm going to make, and if I have all the ingredients to make it, at the last minute. While that has taken *most* of the guesswork out of dinner planning, my next biggest battle was how to keep the kids out from under my feet while I'm cooking.

Most of the time they're begging to help me, which is okay some nights, but other nights, I really just need to get to work with no interruptions. So, I started blanket time. They each grab a blanket and three books and bring them in to the kitchen floor. I help them spread out their blankets (not touching each other's, obviously ;), and they have to sit quietly and look through their books until Daddy gets home. Sometimes that is 15 minutes, sometimes it's 30 (If I know it's going to be longer, I usually let them grab a coloring book and crayons too), either way I'm getting peace and quiet while I cook, and they are getting the structure that they're begging for! At first they were a little unsure about what was going on, but now they love it! They beg to do "blanket time" all day long! While it would be tempting, I limit it to dinner time so it can be a "special time" that they look forward to while they're waiting for Daddy to get home.

Many thanks to Alaina for hosting Keeping Creative Kitchens every Thursday! Please, join in! More details on her site.


Heather L. said...

This is a great idea!

Anonymous said...

That is one thing I like about my kitchen - the kids would migrate to the steps to play, but would still be out of the way of my walking around with boiling pots of water just waiting to be dumped on a under-my-foot-child. Guess I won't use your idea for my 21, 19 and 8 year olds- too late for me - I put them to work!!! - me