I am not a good cook. In fact I am not even a cook. When you are single this is not a problem. A banana for breakfast? Easy. Take-away sushi for lunch? Excellent. Porridge for dinner? No worries!
But when you become a parent, nobody warns you that ‘cook’ is sneakily embedded into the job description. In the fine print. At first, you’re lulled into a false sense of security because they only need milk. If you’re breastfeeding, you don’t even need to buy anything or mix anything. Your body makes food while you’re free to do other things. How good is that.
Sometime around the 4-6 month mark, though, the difficulty factor ramps up as solids begin and you have to start buying, preparing and hand-feeding your child. It’s only once a day at first but it quickly ramps up until milk is a memory and you’re preparing, serving and cleaning up 3 meals a day plus snacks. SO. MANY. SNACKS.
All the time snacks. Because SNACKS.
For someone like me who doesn’t speak cooking and has little interest in or talent for food preparation, this is one of the most challenging parts of motherhood. I’ve bought books. I’ve frozen little ice-cubes of pureed organic sweet potato, I’ve tried.
But I’m not a natural and I can’ t say I enjoy it. Maybe nobody does. Maybe it’s just one of those things you do when you’re a parent like getting up in the night and wiping bottoms.
Wait, there are some people who enjoy it. They must. Because some of them devote endless hours and energy into creating ‘Fun! kid-friendly meals!’
You know the ones - with plates of food that look like art work. Food that’s cut and arranged into the shape of animals or story book characters. I’ve tried making vegetable faces on my kids’ homemade pizza a few times over the years. They pretty much ignore it and eat around the vegetables but not before lodging their usual complaints, reminding me of all the things they don’t like to eat.