Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mommy's in the Kitchen . . .

It's that time of year again: teacher gifts. This morning, the kiddos delivered four pounds of Italian butter cookies (from a bakery) to school to thank all their specials teachers, aides, consultants, staff, and administrators.

Next week, they'll deliver gifts (actually, gift cards) to their own classroom teachers to thank them for a wonderful year.

And today they worked on their class gift. Both classes are making recipe scrapbooks for the teachers, with each child in charge of a two-sided page. One side has a recipe, the other a note to the teacher. There can be pictures, decorations, whatever else. Sis opted to include her favorite chocolate crinkle cookie recipe, while Bud wanted to include the recipe for chicken and dumplings. While both of them could've written out their version of how to make it, they chose to use the actual recipes, which I printed out, saying they didn't know the exact directions. Sis wrote, "I like this cookie. I hope you do too." Bud noted, "This is my favorite meal." Well, his favorite meal is probably sushi, but I don't have a recipe for that! But still, he chose it himself. The glued down pictures of them in the kitchen and Sis stamped some images of food.

On the other side, they both wrote "I love you!" and included stamped images of their favorite things, mainly bunnies and penguins.

Helping them do this--and I did help some, or, well, I helped Babysitter, who helped--was wonderful on many levels. First, I got to spend some real quality time with them, instead of a kiss or hug here and there (though, I have read to them every night). Second, I was being useful, which is a rare thing these days and is probably the biggest factor in my recurring ennui--I can amuse myself all day but it doesn't mean much unless I'm contributing somehow, which I haven't been much. Third, for the 45-60 minutes I was downstairs, I didn't notice my foot at all and only my back intermittently. Yay!!!!!

And lastly, I was reminded of something from my own kindergarten year. It wasn't a teacher's gift but a Mother's Day gift. My beloved old teacher (and she probably was "old," and not just an adult, at least in her 60s, which was ancient to a five year old) Mrs. Felch, went around to each student and had them describe their favorite recipe. She then compiled them all and mimeographed them on long sheets--can you just smell that smudgy purple ink?? And we gave the cookbook to our moms. I remember reading it some years later and laughing at descriptions of how to make "psghetti" or "cake." But I actually got my recipe fairly correct--boil a chicken for a long time and add dumplings.

Yep, I had chosen chicken and dumplings too.

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