‘Just let me live my life’ were the words that came out of my sons mouth yesterday as I tried to teach him about following a recipe. He was furious. He was wanting to cook, I was wanting to help him cook. He was wanting to make biscuits, I was wanting him to follow a recipe. He didn’t want to. I wanted him to. We hit a stalemate.
‘Just let me live my life and let me learn how I want to learn’
I caught myself in that moment, caught between the double me, the one that says, in my head… ‘But you will stuff up the biscuits, it is about chemistry, the reason I follow baking recipes is that there are some things you cannot guess as they will be flops, I have written a cook book I know these things!’
Then Heston Blumenthal came to mind…
I don’t really know that much about him other than that he is a very creative chef. What if someone had clamped down on him and his cooking as a kid…he invents things, in fact he is totally creative around food. In reading his Wiki profile it seems he mainly taught himself and his big ‘Aha’ moment was when he decided to ‘QUESTION EVERYTHING’ which is precisely what my son is doing. It is also what these wonderful women speak about around being an unschooling parent in this great interview.
So, I pat myself on the back here as I turned on a pin of thought and emotion. Heston’s face came to mind as my son had his face in the pillows and really had had enough of his controlling mother. I thought. My son has a point. Reframe your thinking Lehla. Let your son lead and bring on the biscuit making.
We needed things, we went to the shop. As we walked down the aisle he said let’s get Vanilla and Orange extract. I said ‘Really? What together? and then I said, Oh I, yes let’s! I will do as Daddy does and say YES!’ I said ‘Yes’ then we also bought chocolate, butter eggs etc and the rest we had at home.
The rest being.
Salted peanuts, gluten free flour, milk, an egg and sugar.
He said ‘You can do it with me’ I said ‘Ok but I really struggle not to take over’ he said ‘Don’t worry.’
He had squashed the chocolate bar in to a ball and then added flour and milk and a whole bottle of vanilla extract and half a bottle of orange extract. Then he asked me to get the salted peanuts. I crushed them then put them in and he said ‘I didn’t ask you to crush them and put them in!’ I said ‘I can’t help it, I have to step away, I go on automatic pilot and I am really struggling to not take over.’
He said ‘it is ok.’
‘Can I grease the tray?
He said ‘Yes’
We made shapes, then squashed them down and made flat biscuits, I told him that if you put flour on your hands when you squash them into shapes then they don’t stick to your hands. We did it the biscuits were in.
Smells of a French Patisserie wafted across the kitchen, they were delicious. Those biscuits were delicious.
This story could have gone another way but for me it took energy, it took leaps not to take over and even when I had decided not to, I did.
Balancing when I am being helpful and when I am not is such an art.
I have ways of doing things and I am through my kids learning and ‘unlearning’ and realizing, like Heston when it comes to Unschooling ‘Question Everything’ especially myself!
Please log in again. The login page will open in a new tab. After logging in you can close it and return to this page.