Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Soup's on!

I do not make lunch for my family. I know, I'm a terrible mother. You can say it. It won't surprise or concern me. I get rolled eyes at least once a week from someone trying to nonverbally tell me just that.

But I know that someday they are going to thank me for not providing this service. When on your own for the first time, who wants to have to pick up the phone to call Mom and ask her how to make macaroni and cheese, or how to fry a burger? Or even to heat up a can of soup?

My refusal to make lunch not only keeps the leftovers from piling up, and me from spending all my time in the kitchen, it also forces our children to learn to make their own food. They can choose to be boring and simple and make a sandwich or they can go all out and make something more complicated. And I love to see them working together and cooking for each other.

So when one of the younger children wanted to learn how to make soup out of a can, I was thrilled. Hey, we all have to start somewhere, right? For sake of anonymity, I'll choose an ambiguous name for this child. Let's go with Lee. And when a pronoun is needed, let's just use the male form. It's Biblical.

Anyway, Lee brought me the can of soup and promptly tore off the pop tab. Uh-oh, not off to a very good start but that's okay; that happens. What do you think you can do about this, Lee?

I just turned my back for a second, honestly, when the next thing I knew, Lee was wielding a very large knife and was about to try ramming it through the top of the soup can. Let's put the knife back, dear.

Once Lee successfully, and safely removed the top of the soup can, I suggested that he try reading the directions. You would think that after years of telling people how to make a can of soup, the food company would know how and in what order to write the directions. Why, oh why, did they start with "Preparation: Promptly refrigerate any unused portion in a separate container"? Lee was busy looking for a separate container when I informed him that he did not need to promptly refrigerate anything YET because he did not have any unused portions at this time. Oh.

Onto the next step: "Empty soup into pan." No problems there; phew!

"Slowly stir in one can of water." Lee got one can of water, quickly poured it into the pan and then v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y stirred his pan of soup. I gave him an "A" for that step. Hey, he DID follow the directions; he probably shouldn't be blamed for faulty language in the directions.

At this point I'm not sure what happened but Lee skipped over the "Heat; stirring often," section and went right to:

"Microwave: Empty contents of can into a microwave-save bowl." This he did and at this point I checked out for a moment. I assumed (I know, never assume) that Lee had decided to microwave instead of heating on the stove. I thought we were home free. I never would have guessed what was really going on in Lee's head until I heard him say, "Add one can of water. Hey, one more can of water won't fit in here with the can of soup and the first can of water." Huh? Ohhhhhhhhh. Wait a minute. Let's back up. Lee, dear, you are supposed to choose either the stove top directions OR the microwave directions, but you aren't supposed to do them BOTH.

The lightbulb came on right then and we had a nice mother-child moment as Lee poured everything back into the pan and proudly (and slowly) stirred his soup over the burner. I smiled as I proudly (and slowly) envisioned Lee out on his own in the real world, successfully (and slowly) stirring his very own pot of soup over his very own stove.

Dreams can come true, right?

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