Sunday, April 18, 2010


My attempts at teaching my darling son to cook are, at times, both frustrating (for him) and a source of immeasurable giggles (for me).
We have chickens; free ranging, egg-laying, bossy, personality-plus chickens ruling the roost (and backyard) with gossipy cackles from sun up til sun down.
When I instructed him to check the inside cavity of the (store bought) chicken he was going to roast he gave me the most horrified look, followed by,
"I'm not looking up its cloaca!"

When I explained where he was going to shove the stuffing the face became even more contorted with horror along with a high pitched,
He mixed the stuffing, he shoved the stuffing up its cloaca accompanied by encouraging comments like,
"You've got more stuffing on the table than up its arse!"
He then begged my assistance when I said he'd have to shove an onion up there to hold the stuffing in - I peeled it for him, he did more shoving.
Then we got the vegies peeled and steaming, while he washed up the mess he'd made.
Just when he thought he was in the clear I reminded him he would need to make gravy, too.
This entire effort has several reasons driving it; he's become obsessed with his DS game playing again, to the detriment of his focus and concentration on other things around him.
He needs to learn how to fend for himself; he's the sort who would sit and wait for days for someone else to feed him.
The stove/oven intimidates him; it's not a terror or a fright that it holds over him but it's 'the unknown', something he's completely unsure of.
He's clumsy and needs to become more familiar with different kitchen utensils and the actions they make within his hands, to further increase motor skills.
More tactile therapy where he's confronted with foods and surfaces he doesn't come into contact with very often, and sensory therapy for smells and noises different foods make when cooking.
Time management skills and forward planning are complete strangers to him; cooking lessons help him plot that the meat needs longer to cook than vegies so it gets put in the oven first, that 1 kilo = 1 hour of cooking, to work out the time when the meat should be ready, when to begin making gravy, when to put the tray of vegies in (for baking) or the tray of extra stuffing so that everything comes together at the end and is all (roughly) ready together at the same time.
It also teaches him to take some care for himself; to have some respect for his own body and to have some control over the food he ingests, to choose to eat healthily and to boost his self-esteem.
He's not a natural at cooking and his ingrained behaviour/attitude (those Aspie routines, something happens once and it's there for a lifetime) towards cooking prohibits him from doing it enthusiastically, but patience, persistence and pigheadedness from yours truly will see him be at least able to boil water or open a can of baked beans.
At meet a chook's cloaca eye to eye.


Devi said...

Awesome work! Very exciting that he is willing to try. :-)
I have to empathise, the first time I realised exactly how a chook was stuffed, I rebelled!

Ro said...

He managed to get the job done, and enjoyed the results so hopefully he'll get stuck in the second time lol.