Baking With Benny! or The end product should always be relationship and memory!

by Mary Ann on January 17, 2015


IMG_0025 upThere was flour ALL over my kitchen floor!

Benny, my 2 year old grandson caught me cooking and he was desperate to help. I was making gingerbread men, a Christmas tradition and needed about 2000 of them. No, that is not an exaggerated number. Now when I am cooking by myself I can do that in no time because I have been making these men for about 50 years. But when you put a 2 year old20141212_150029 2 into the mix the whole equation changes!

He was standing on a stool by my side rolling, patting, cutting, eating, spilling, dropping flour, stacking Christmas packages (which are also on the counter, which is where our tree sits)…..and he was having a great time. I, on the other had, was feeling a bit fussed. I didn’t want his “help”. I just wanted to get the
job done. There it is…adults are end product driven while 2 year olds are process driven and he was really enjoying the process.

It would have been so easy to say, “Benny, grandma is busy. Run upstairs and I’ll let you know when I am done.” I have been known to do that and I was sorely tempted. But here is what I did instead. I watched him for a few minutes as I kneaded my ball of dough. I saw his sheer delight in doing something new. I observed as he “floured” the counter and the floor so his men wouldn’t stick. I listened to his laughter as he rearranged my utensil drawer. I watched him stack up the Christmas packages into a tower and then

IMG_0024 (1) upwatched as they came IMG_0027 uptumbling down. And guess what….my heart softened. I loved watching him. It was fun. He made the whole project worth while.

Right, it did take a lot longer. Yup, my floor was a disaster. Yes, I had to eventually re-do the utensil drawer. Uhuh, the packages had flour on them and the corners were a bit flattened. But we made a memory. He will remember and I, for sure, will remember.

The best gift we can give to our children is to let them be children, let them experience what is new, exciting and different and not fuss with them about it, to be Present with them and make them more important than the project. We and our time are the very best gifts. We can be Present, even when we are busy, if we will value children and the process more than the end product. In fact, when it comes to our children and grandchildren, the end product should always be relationship and memory!

IMG_0023 up

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