Alexandra the Great's Private Papers

February 1, 2008

The Marshmallow Incident

Filed under: Kids,Marshmallows — Alexandra The Great @ 11:18 pm

Always thinking creatively, my children never fail to amuse themselves.   My two younger children are not only creative, but they have also taken an interest in cooking.  Their skills have developed far beyond pouring hot water into a Styrofoam cup and waiting for the noodles to get soft.  For breakfast they can not only make toast but fry an egg to go with it.  They can cook oatmeal as well as follow the directions on the Hamburger Helper box to make dinner when their mom is busy.  Unlike their mom, they don’t burn it either.  They know how to make popcorn on the stove and a variety of sandwiches.  For dessert they can even follow a recipe and make cookies.  Gingersnaps were easy enough but Spritz proved a little tricky until they abandoned the uncooperative cookie press. Things moved along well after that and we soon enjoyed a sweet treat.  Being creative and adventuresome, they have even experimented with a few of their own recipes.  

Their latest adventure in cooking moved beyond the kitchen, into the back yard, and involved digging a hole.  To those of you who have read, The Seven Foot Hole to China, this may not be surprising.  You might even be thinking that these kids are learning the art of deep-pitting, but that will have to wait until a find a pig.  Remembering that I forbade them from lighting their pyre in the back yard two summers ago, they took safety precautions this time and dug a two feet deep hole to make their fire in; and to make extra sure that their plan went well, they did not tell me what they were doing.  Having built their fire, they then came into the house for marshmallows and forks.  Unnoticed, they returned to the back yard and got back to work.  Like Mrs. Tabitha Twitchet who unwisely turned her kittens out into the garden before tea, I was unaware of my children’s activities until my oldest son came inside and informed me his siblings were roasting marshmallows.  Their father, because he is a man, would have encouraged this activity.  But I am not a man.  I am a mom and no mom since Eve has wanted her children playing with fire.  I learned also that not only did they start a fire, but they were also roasting marshmallows with plastic forks.  Naturally, my imagination flared up and I was sure they would poison themselves with melted-plastic-toxic-marshmallows as well as burn themselves and the house to ashes.  Risking becoming an enemy of my children, I put a stop to it (using my prayer voice of course).

When my husband came home I told him of our narrow escape and he was delighted.  “It’s great,” he said, “that the kids are so creative.  I would rather them do things like that than play video games.”   The vote was now four against one and I had the feeling I had just moved into “check”.  I had to admit that he was right and maybe, just maybe, I had quenched a good thing.  Apart from the fire, this is the sort of thing we have encouraged. Next time I think I will send out real forks…and maybe a fire extinguisher.


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