Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Chocolate Pancakes: An Exercise in Getting Your Kids to Eat Spinach and Pick Up a Playroom

How to get my kids serious about picking up the playroom (for my future reference, but may also be referred to by others):

1.  Make it known that I'm making Chocolate Pancakes (you know, the kind that uses pureed blueberries and spinach...and ground flax...and wheat germ).

2.  Yell, "Chocolate Pancakes are almost done..." At this point, they've just been playing, but theoretically, they know they *should* be picking up...they've also forgotten that I've been working on dinner, so hearing that I'm making these is just as exciting as the first time they were told about the special menu item.  Picking up starts to seem more important to them.

**This following step is critical, and definitely strikes fear in the bellies of kids if you're a mom that tends to eat your kids' food when it's something they like (or when it's something they don't like...basically, if it's known that you're a mommy that grazes off of their plates, this attribute is in your favor).***

3.  A little while later, yell, "Pancakes are done........mmmm....they're REALLY good!!!"

What you'll hear next is music to a mommy's ears:

"NOOOOOOOOO!!!  Don't eat them all!!!  EVERETT, PICK UP!!!"  Reminding each other to essentially stay on task (more J to E than the opposite) is accompanied by the sounds of toys being thrown into bins, scurrying around, and occasional promises of, "MOMMY!  We're almost done!" as if to kindly remind me to not eat them all...

Minutes later, they come downstairs, proudly proclaiming that they have successfully picked up the playroom.  Sometimes, J or E will also ask if I left any for them.  REALLY?!  What kind of cow do they think I am?!

They wash their hands without protesting, and sit down, eager (a rarity, it often seems) to indulge in dinner.  Yes, Chocolate Pancakes for dinner.  Because if I'm gonna get a picked up playroom out of the deal, it's most definitely a treat at the END of the day!

Note:  I just asked Jillian if she enjoyed dinner.  She practically swooned as she answered, "yeeeesssssss...can we have some tomorrow morning?"  I asked how many were left.  "2." -- "TWO?!"  Jillian quickly says, "DON'T eat them!"

I rest my case.  My kid thinks I have no will power.  She would be correct, though food with hidden healthy stuff wins out over my weakness for the overall yummy-ness of the pancakes.  

So one pancake per kid tomorrow morning.  

Maybe I'll get a made bed or two out of the deal, too!