Caleb's favourite playtime right now involves the kitchen set the boys got for Christmas. It's a great little wooden set, complete with fridge, oven, stove, sink, countertop and cupboards. In fact, it's the set that my sisters and I got as kids, and it's fun to see the boys playing with it now.
With Caleb's love of food, I guess it's no surprise he gravitates toward this toy. He and I have spent time stirring up play foods in bowls with large wooden spoons. He loves to sit and stir, adding one food item after another to the large bowl, then dumping them all out and starting again.
But just to show you how much kids are paying attention, no matter how young, Caleb surprised me the other day with just how adept he is at the whole "cooking" playtime. I was cleaning up in the kitchen and caught the beginning of this little scene, which I watched in amazement as it unraveled:
First Caleb got a frying pan and put it on the stove. Then he chose a food item from the fridge and put it in the pan. He grabbed a spatula and stirred the food in the pan, flipped it over, and stirred it again. Next he found the salt and sprinkled some over the food. He opened the cupboard and found a plate and fork, and put them on the counter. He lifted the food out of the pan and placed it on the plate. Then he sat on the floor to eat, first adding a little ketchup to the meal. He ate slowly, even using the fork. When he finished, he put the food in the fridge and the dishes in the sink. He turned on the tap and made the "whooshing" sound of running water. He added a bit of soap and scrubbed the dishes with his hand. Then he put the dishes into the cupboard, stacking them each in their proper piles.
Yes, I kid you not, my 14 month old son actually "prepared" a meal, ate it, and cleaned up after himself. Perhaps there is a future chef in him? Wouldn't that be a treat! Also - note to self: be very careful with what I do - my children are watching me closely...very closely!