When Kid-Friendly Fare Needs Adult-Friendly Flare

Two little blond heads share the pillow next to her. She squints at the clock and is amazed to see 7, 3 and 0 illuminated. “Have they EVER slept this late before? Awesome!” Then the events of 2am come back to her and she wonders if it was worth the extra sleep. At least one of them made it to the toilet. The other, well, a mop for the bathroom floor and some wet towels on the carpet got most of it. Fingers crossed they feel better this morning.

Wake up, one on the potty, one on the toilet, brush teeth, cereal and milk, an apple each, some juice (only one cup spilled today, woot!), choosing clothes (“Where’s my Dora shirt, Mommy?” “I think it’s in the wash.” “I neeeeeeed it nooooooow!”). A normal morning. Walk (slowly) to school. One left with a hug and a kiss at the classroom door, one along for the day’s errands.

I imagine that the rest of her day is much like mine: a routine of potty visits, snacks, lunch, nap and play that navigates around errands, laundry, dishes and Facebook status updates, probably with a never-ending slew of why-mommies and tell-me-all-about-it-mommies and the odd tantrum.

The difference: She is not yearning for the clock to show 6, 3 and 0. Nothing special happens at 6:30. A co-conspirator does not magically appear to help answer the why’s or to pick up dropped teddy grahams and grapes. There’s no all-encompassing hug to wait for nor is there a “How was your day, sweetie?” At 6:30, nobody gently rubs shoulders or offers a mug of hot tea or sends cranky kids into a swirl of giggles. There is certainly nobody making up for the “I don’t want to eat this! It’s green and it’s yucky!” with, “Mmmm…something smells good. What’s for dinner?”

It’s a big difference. So big that my husband got a hug, a kiss, a shoulder rub, a beer and an extra special dinner yesterday when I finished brainstorming about it.

A single-mom wrote to me recently and asked for ideas to make her kids’ food more interesting for herself. If she can’t look forward to some adult conversation at 6:30, she should at least have some adult food to look forward to, right? And we should all get a break from the typical kid-food blandness too, shouldn’t we?

In response to her request, my new series is When Kid-Friendly Fare Needs Adult-Friendly Flare. It’s not about the kid-friendly recipes but rather about little things you can do to normal kid food to adult-it-up a notch. Stay tuned for some great ideas for adult flare. In the meantime, check out my Frozen Fruit Smash with an adult-friendly twist here.

Do you know how to adult-it-up a notch? Please share your own recipes and ideas.  Just leave a comment below.


Check out the other post in this series:


Find out about past Cook the Story series and about what’s coming up.



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  1. #1 by phyllis pittman on March 29, 2011 - 3:18 pm

    Enjoyed this story, brought tears to my eyes.

  2. #3 by Debi (Table Talk) on March 30, 2011 - 10:34 pm

    Oh I remember those sleep deprived diaper changing days….we are on to the next phase pre-teen and teen years. Not sure which is harder!

    • #4 by cookthestory on March 31, 2011 - 9:51 am

      Eek! Don’t tell me that. I keep trying to deny that there’s any truth to the saying, “Little kids, little problems. Big kids, big problems.”

  1. Gremolata: Green stuff the kids might not like, but that’s O.K. « Cook the Story

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