With each infant, I watched a different type of TV as I breastfed. I don’t think breastfeeding needs to be bonding time, every freakin’ time you feed the kid. For months, those babies eat every two hours. While I read tons of books, there comes in sleep deprivation when you realize that you just read the same paragraph five times and still can’t make sense of it, and what’s worse is you’ve read the book three times already. Bring on the TV. One child, I watched nothing but the Food Network. Another child it was HGTV. Tornado A was subjected to hours upon hours of police dramas. (Did you know you can find one on nearly any time of the day?)
I always wondered if all those hours of specific TV would influence my kids. I have a whole joke that goes along with it. None of the men in the family appreciate it. Geeze.
While I thought I set Tornado A up to be some sort of investigator, he seems to have gravitated to the Food Network instead. Starting at 4:30, Tornado A latches on to my leg, whining for me to start dinner, to feed him. My original plan of action consisted on feeding the kid graham crackers with every whine. It worked, but how many graham crackers can a kid eat?
Then one day at my parents’ house, Tornado Awhined at my mom’s legs as she tried to cook. She reached into the cupboard and plopped a pan in front of him. She handed him a wooden spoon. Tornado A sat down and began stirring the pot. Not a whine was heard for the rest of the evening.
The next time we were at her house, my mom used the trick again. It worked but only for a while. She placed Tornado A on the counter next to her, handing him a cracker. He watched as she cooked. Between bites, he would point and say, “What’s that?” My mom would answer him and explain the whole cooking process.
It dawned on me later (much, much later) to employ the same techniques on Tornado A my mother used. I handed him pan and spoon. Soon he toddled to my cupboards and pulled out frying pans and bowls to add to his kitchen. He had to see each new kitchen tool that I used.
Yesterday, as I left the mixer on to beat cream cheese and butter to submission, I went to on to another chore. Tornado A whined to see the mixer. His father picked him up to show him. Tornado A pointed to the mixer and then the cooling cupcakes. His father interpreted that to mean Tornado A wanted cupcakes and handed him a grape instead. Tornado A was furious and whined, searching for me. I picked him up and brought him into the kitchen. He pointed, so I set him down next to the mixer, and he watched as I poured in powder sugar, taking it all in.
Me: And then this morning, he was playing with a spoon and frying pan. He then handed me one. I tried to give it back, but he pointed to the stove, so I put it on the stove. Then he wanted up, so I picked him up. He then leaned over to stir the frying pan with his spoon!
My mom: Hmmm. You were a lot like that when you were a kid.
Me: Do you think he’ll be a chef?