Friday, December 12, 2003

Distracted Parenting

This afternoon, my four year old stood on a chair and stirred up a bowl of flour and water on the counter. He had been begging to bake cookies, but I lacked three or four vital ingredients. Instead, he made "magic" cookies. He likes mixing and combining and measuring and tasting. This time was even better because I didn't care whether he sneezed into the concoction or let it fall on the floor.

After stirring the flour and water into a dough, I showed him how to dig his hands into it and kneed it into satisfying balls. He liked how his fingers got stuck together at first until we added another spoonful of flour. I got out a rolling pin and made his ball into a pizza shape.

And then I lost interest. Yes, my four year old has a longer attention span that I do. I snuck off into the office to check the headlines on the Times on line leaving him alone with the magic cookies.

After 10 minutes, I noticed a disturbing silence in the kitchen. Oh, no. What have I done? I left my kid alone in the kitchen with flour and water. I'll be cleaning flour dust off the ceiling. I ran in and found the kitchen looking its dingy self. No flour blizzard.

And then I stepped into a puddle. Poor kid had been so excited about his project that he ignored a call of nature.

OK, I don't know quite why I shared that tale of poor parenting. But now I have finished it, and I might as well just hit the publish button.

I'm off for the weekend. Revisiting the malls of my youth tomorrow and shopping in Times Square on Sunday. I'll be back late Sunday night.

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