Thursday, July 10, 2014

Alphabet Soup for Dinner

I told you once that my household and our various "issues" make us resemble the alphabet.
And I mentioned recently that Brian had a great idea to have the kids make dinner once a week this summer.
Well, when you put those two items together? Let me tell you: I'm not sure the alphabet and dinner preparation are a healthy combination. *ahem*

This recovering perfectionist mother with GAD, supervising/teaching her ADHD w/significant OCD tendencies son could have resulted in the need for a CPS intervention. I'm just sayin'.
Picture this:
*I'm in the kitchen to provide support and guidance to Matthew as he prepares dinner.
*The preparation is supposed to be his job, so I am trying to be as hands-off as possible. And being hands-off is not in my I'm-trying-to-recover-from-being-a-perfectionist-nature. That, in itself, is anxiety-producing to me.
*Matthew is doing a fair job with his work, but soon gets off task and needs to be reminded to make dinner.
*I demonstrate slicing and removing fat from the meat. And quickly regret it, as Matthew becomes focused on cutting out every.single.molecule.of.fat.
*So I call him back to the task at hand: getting dinner prepared and on the table, even with a few little tiny pieces of fat left in it.
*As he is slicing an onion, his OCD kicks in again, and Matthew appears to be intent on picking off every.single.little.piece.of.root.
*I take a deep breath and tell him to just cut off the end of the onion with the knife.
*With the slicing done, the meat goes into the pan and Matthew meticulously turns each piece to make sure it cooks evenly.
*On to mixing the sauce ingredients. It takes a while, because Matthew gets distracted playing in the water when I tell him to wash out a bowl.
*As each sauce ingredient is added to the bowl, Matthew wants to remove labels, rinse cans, and put them out into the recycling bin. I note his fixation with desire to take care of the cans, but instruct him that those things are better done after everything is mixed and happily cooking on the stove. And I take another deep breath.
*It's time to get the veggies ready and Matthew goes to the refrigerator to retrieve them. But somehow he gets distracted by the drawer. Yeah. I don't get it, either.
*Cutting up the vegetables is taking too long, and my GAD is taking over, so I gingerly get the knife and cut up the rest of them myself - having Matthew place the veggies into the steamer. And the next thing I know, he's picking up each little ball of broccoli (You know what I'm talking about, right? The tiny round pieces on the top, which fall off when you're cutting the bunch into florets.) and putting them in the trash.
*Finally, the stroganoff is ready, the noodles are cooked (I got those going when Matthew was slicing the onions), and the vegetables are steamed. I tell Matthew to call everyone to the table. Only, he is nowhere to be found. Apparently all the focusing he had to do over the previous 30 minutes was too much for him, and he had to escape to another room.

In the end, dinner was delicious and Matthew and I laughed about our alphabet struggles. Referring to his ADHD/OCD moments, Matthew smiled and said, "Thanks for putting up with me, Mom." I replied, "Thanks for making dinner, Matthew."
And I made a mental note to practice more relaxation techniques before the next time Matthew is up for dinner duty.

The funny thing is, as I am getting ready to post this entry Matthew is going all over the family room with the vacuum cleaner. There will not be a speck of dirt left when he's finished.
This is the part of his OCD tendencies I like. *wink*



km said...

A friend of my trips every p.m. by first establishing be mise en place. Your boy might appreciate that... And it might make him feel like a chef. A few of us read this article together and discussed it

km said...

km said...

I don't know why the Google box made me limit how much went in each piece of the comment. So here it is. Let me know what you think.

Karen Hossink said...

KM - I had never heard of "mise en place", but I know the concept. And I agree - it makes the process go much better. Now, if we can get it to help us overcome our quirks. ;)