Last Monday night was my night off for a couple of hours from the kids and after dinner clean-up. I play Keeno with a group of women once a month. We get together and eat, discuss what is going on in our little town, and try to go home with at least one prize. It’s not so much going home with a prize, but the time with other moms and the couple of hours away from the kids that I enjoy. That is a subject for another post.
While I was away, David and the two older kids cleaned the kitchen. Our children love to bake. While the cleaning was going on, our oldest was discussing plans for her next baking project. Her brother wanted to help. David told them that after they finished cleaning the kitchen, they could bake whatever they wanted as long as that got cleaned up as well. They chose a Brown Butter Soda Bread, a recipe from the Epicurious iPhone application. I came home to a wonderful smell coming from the oven. It had rosemary mixed in with pepper on top – yes, pepper. It had a wonderfully spicy taste. This is the kind of bread that you bring out when company comes. They were very excited with their creation, especially since it tasted so delicious. And they did it all by themselves. [callout]I’ve taught these children to read, how to add and subtract, how to be self-sufficient, and how to solve problems. Now I have to teach myself how to leave them alone and let them discover what it is they are capable of doing[/callout]
On Tuesday, Austin announced that he is going to make French bread. I thought to myself, “Lord, help me” and He did. He kept my mouth shut because it was about to say that French bread was very hard to make, that it would make a mess, the mess wouldn’t get cleaned up, and that Austin would get frustrated because it wouldn’t turn out well. Boy, was I wrong. I don’t really know how hard or easy French bread is to make because I’ve never made it. A couple of reminders had to be given for the mess, but not nagging ones. The bread was fantastic – much better than anything you can get from the store. He made two loaves. One loaf was gone in about 15 minutes. We saved the second loaf for dinner the next night. We sliced it, put butter and garlic on top, and then toasted it in the oven. Magnifique! And he did it all by himself.
I’ve taught these children to read, how to add and subtract, how to be self-sufficient, and how to solve problems. Somewhere along the way they developed an inquisitive mind, self-motivation, and a sense of risk taking that I never had. Now I have to teach myself how to leave them alone and let them discover what it is they are capable of doing. Time to loosen the reigns a bit and let them run.
In our eyes you are doing all the right parenting things. Your kids are amazing… not just this post about the kids making bread, but a recent podcast where Luke was helping Mom make a pie, and Hannah making a bird house… Allyson & David – you are doing such a great job of teaching them to be self-sufficient… you should write a book!
Hello David & Allyson,
I’ve been listening to your podcast for at least a couple of years and finally caught up with the past episodes a few months ago but never got around to leaving a comment before now. I guess I couldn’t resist David’s pleading to visit your site, so here you go! 😉
I enjoy your podcast and really like all your tips – I’ll have to try the window cleaner and that bread sounds just wonderful! I wish I had known about the free weekend at Washington on the Brazos, it would have been fun to visit (my family lives about 45 minutes east of you in Montgomery County). I’ll probably make a trip there once the bluebonnets are in bloom again. That’s one of my most favorite times to make the drive out towards that area.
I think you guys are doing a great job with your kids. As the 4th out of 6 kids in my family, I think the occasional squabbles are inevitable and a part of asserting your own identity apart from your siblings. Also, I’m not a doctor and don’t play one on tv (or on a podcast), but I doubt eating dog biscuits will hurt a person. I have a sister-in-law who used to get down on all 4’s and eat out of the dog’s bowl right beside him and she turned out just fine, lol. 😉
Thanks again for providing such a great podcast!
Another Alison in Texas