This morning, Mister Man looked over at me with a Very Serious expression on his face. Mom, what are we having for dinner tonight? he asked solemnly.
I cringed internally, though externally I maintained my ever-present aura of zen. Well, Little Miss and I are going to see The Nutcracker tonight, so you and Daddy are on your own. I thought for a moment. There are still bagel dogs left from last night, so it will probably be bagel dogs.
He gave me a crestfallen look. Oh. And, oddly, no more.
Why do you ask, Buddy?
Well, I wanted to make dinner tonight, he said, somewhat mournfully.
Back story. Yesterday Mister Man had a little bit of a rough day. He was down on himself. I was heading out to dinner with some friends, so I was making a quick and simple dinner of bagel dogs. And I was even using refrigerated dough and not my own. As I pulled out the ingredients, I realized that this was totally something Mister Man could do at nine years old. All he needed was a little supervision.
I called him over and asked if he wanted to be in charge. He did. He learned how to unwrap a crescent roll package (he’d never seen one before, if that tells you anything about our house right there), and he figured out how to distribute the dough for the eight rolls across the twelve hot dog halves we had. He’s good at that math thing. He set the oven and put them in.
Just before they were done, I called him in to try pouring his own milk (with his autism, his hand eye coordination isn’t the greatest, plus he’s nine) knowing that the container was only about a third of the way full. He demurred, fearing he would spill it everywhere, but I insisted he do it. I showed how he could hold the cup up to the container of milk and then slowly lower both to minimize potential spillage. And he did it. He even put in his little scoop of Ovaltine by himself and was mesmerized to watch as it floated out across the top of the cup.
When he sat down and took a bite, he smiled at me. Big. Mom, these are the best tasting bagel dogs ever.
And he was right. Food you cook yourself always tastes better.
So this morning, I had him pour his own milk again, and he did it with no questioning or issues. As he sat down to his bowl of Greek yogurt with preserves mixed in, I observed to him, You know, Dude. You could actually make your whole breakfast yourself, couldn’t you?
He looked up, interest flaring in his eyes. I could. Yogurt is so easy, Mom. I want to make my own breakfast tomorrow! You know, pretty soon, there won’t be just one master chef in the household. Pretty soon, there will be two.