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Put Those Kids to Work

I reorganized my kitchen today to incorporate many of the new healthful foods I've been adding to our diets -– wild rice, millet, lentils, buckwheat groats, organic regurgitated soybean sputum. In order to make room in the cupboards for the containers of grain, I had to remove the Shake n' Bake, Gatorade, tubs of frosting and stale white pasta.

I'd kept the healthful items on the countertops for a while, refusing to give them prime pantry real estate until I was sure we actually liked them. It really doesn't matter how good a meal is for you if you can't choke it down.

But at this point even the kids are getting fairly used to eating well and although they're still very suspicious of Swiss chard and intolerant towards breakfast cereals that do not come with their own jingles and cartoon characters, they're getting better every day. I think it's starting to set in that if they don't start eating this, they may not be eating anything and in all ghetto humility, my cooking is DOPE, yo! Nobody busts a groat like their mama.

Kathryn's Acres of Grains

Kathryn's acres of grains

When I did the pantry swap, I found myself with a large pile of processed foods on the counter. I didn't want to eat them but I was too cheap to throw them away so I decided to put them in the garage with our stockpile of food to eat during a nuclear holocaust or some other such emergency. I figure if I'm growing a third eye, I probably won't care whether my frosting is made from certified organic evaporated cane juice.

So I started to carry the illicit groceries out to the garage while the kids rumbled and played on the floor in the family room. I kicked a toy to one side and then it hit me, "Why am I doing all the work around here?"

"Laylee," I said, "Please come and help me in the kitchen."

She jumped to her feet. Help in the kitchen!? She's always eager to help in the kitchen. I'm not sure if this is because she's particularly industrious or because she thinks that if she helps in the kitchen chocolate chips might fall serendipitously into her mouth.

When I explained the task to her and showed her the shelf in the garage where the food should go, she went straight to work like a good little servant girl and I sighed the sigh of parental fulfillment as I moved on to my sink full of dirty dishes.

This is the reason I had kids. I've always wanted to have someone live with me who could do all the work.

I used to think I wanted kids so I could drive in the HOV lane at rush hour but then I realized that I'm rarely driving around at rush hour. But the work? Well, there will always be plenty of work for them to do. And if they do it well I may occasionally throw them a chocolate chip or three. Slackers get nothing but a glass of water and a crust of stale free-range organic whole grain bread.

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