Not too long ago I was sitting, staring at my first blonde haired, blue eyed baby thinking about how she wouldn't watch TV until she was at least 3 (and even then only 10 minutes at a time), wouldn't dare eat Goldfish (only Cheddar Bunnies here), and would certainly never misbehave like those other kids on the playground. I think about those days of blissful ignorance mashed with completely idiotic goals. I also often think about what it's like to be a new mom for the first time. I feel half sad for myself to never get to be her again and half overjoyed at how much easier life is when you stop giving so much of a shit.
We still only eat Cheddar Bunnies. But that's only because they are honestly better. I should know. I eat them for breakfast sometimes.
Fast forward to now. My brilliantly talented friend Patty, who also happens to be a gem in the kitchen, told me about this little show called The Great British Baking Show. She is a part of the culinary world and she raved about this show. Her seemingly simple review of a Netflix bingeing option gave me the most brilliant of ideas.....this is a show I could actually enjoy watching WITH my children. The Food Network and the like aren't exactly known for their offensive material right?
Could I possibly do away with My Little Pony? Is there an end in sight to the horrendous Barbie show (which I forbid and they watch with babysitters behind my back)?
Enter the day the cooking show changed everything.
I don't love to cook. I would even go so far as to say I don't like to cook. It's a necessary evil that doesn't seem to be leaving my world anytime soon. But, I do love a good competition and I do love sitting quietly snuggled up on the couch. So one day I was all, "hey guys let's watch this show about baking". One Great British Baking Show, too many Cupcake Wars to count, and half a Food Truck Race later my daughters are cooking show junkies. And I don't even care. In fact, I'm ecstatic. I certainly can't teach them to cook. To me I am doing their future partner in life a favor. I know, I know. That's like saying Caillou will single handedly teach them to get along and share. I am not delusional. I prefer optimistic.
In all transparency, I may even use cooking shows as bribery. "Clean up the house so we can watch the next Food Truck!". "As long as you guys get along for the rest of the day we could watch TWO episodes!!". At least I'm not bribing with actual cupcakes right? I mean, that happens too sometimes. But this happens more and is oddly more effective.
Truly though, I love doing this with my kids. I love getting into the show with them. Who will win? Who makes the best looking food? We talk and chat and they may have even cried once when someone had to go home. Don't worry. We discussed that part too.
Then there's the matter of the little baby brother who has basically never watched television unless it's sitting next to a sister watching what she wants (which means he is simply harassing her the whole time). I was a little concerned about how to navigate his participation, but he is a rockstar third child. I don't know why I even gave it a second thought. He snuggles up like he is down for some serious baking every single time. He may even get really excited when I say, "come on Holden it's time to watch the show!". I just bring an assortment of extra remotes, random toys and books, and sometimes a snack if things get hairy and he's completely on board. It's magical, see?
Don't worry. My next "we do this as a family" post will be about hiking. We do ALL of the hiking. We aren't complete couch potatoes.