I love food. Thinking about food, buying food, preparing food, cooking food, eating food, sharing food- I love it all. As a direct result of this food fetish, my favourite part of the day is, bar none, cooking dinner. I look forward to cooking dinner like a kid looks forward to summer vacation, only my pay off comes every day instead of once every 12 months - take that grade threes!
When I was expecting Judah (aka carrying him out front like a 30 pound beach ball) I had several people say, "Just you wait, one day you turn around and you'll think, 'That kid is acting just like me'".
Up until Jude was about 9 months, I am happy to report, he wasn't acting much like either of us, what with the pooping in his pants every few hours, screaming when smiled at by strangers and throwing conniptions at the sight of the car seat. Around the nine- month mark, however, I started to see little mannerisms, sounds and facial expressions that would stop me in my tracks thinking, "Oh my goodness, Luke's been shrunken to a shorter, fatter, smoother version of himself and he's using a wooden spoon to hammer the couch back together" etc.
Other than his obsession with keeping the kitchen cupboard doors shut, Judah had been pretty much all daddy and not much mommy, until he caught the cooking bug. After months of holding him on my hip while I stir-fried, baked and boiled, Judah woke up one morning and thought, "Mom appears to be having way too much fun. I should get in on that culinary action!"
Judah now demands to be involved in the cooking process. This usually takes the form of Luke or I perching Jude on the stretch of counter where I do most of the prep. work. He watches me chop and provides a running commentary of the action and a million inquisitve "an da?" which is his way of asking what something is. Once the prep. work is done, we move over to the stove and Judah's second perch next to the large utensil holder. From there he uses every single large utensil to stir whatever it is we're cooking up that night. It's an adorable dish-making activity and I love it!
Best of all, Judah loves to eat what we cook. Tonight he downed curried tofu like it was popcorn. I couldn't eat because I was too busy glowing with pride.
I want this family cooking of real, slow food to be his normal. I want him to eat vegetables when he goes to university. I don't want him to know that food can be cooked in a microwave. I want him to get as excited as his parents when trying a new kind of cheese (yes, we are geeks). But most of all, I want him to know that cooking for each other and with each other is an act of love; something the world can always use a little more of.