There was an ‘incident’ at kindy the other day. I arrived to pick Boy-Child up and found him and his best mate completely engrossed in a role-play game.
“They’ve been at it all day!” his teacher told me.
“It looks adorable! Um. What are they doing?” I responded.
Both boys had their jumpers tied around their waists like aprons and were busily arranging bowls and spoons in the sandpit.
“Oh, they’re being chefs! Yes, your son seems to be quite the expert, do you have a chef in the family?”.
It was at this point that a small red flag went up in my brain. We don’t have a chef in the family. However, we had been on holidays the previous week, and took the kids to a teppanyaki restaurant for dinner one night. You know: Japanese BBQ, everyone seated around the hotplate, chef in the middle cracking jokes and doing fancy knife-tricks as he cooks the food to delicious perfection before your very eyes then serves it up with a variety of entertaining flourishes. It’s fun, it’s noisy, it’s visually entertaining (in this case there was even a tower of flames at one point) – I was sure the kids would enjoy it.
They didn’t. Baby Girl cried every time the chef spoke to her. Boy-Child freaked out when he had to do the egg-catching trick. Both of them freaked out when there was fire. I really thought living at our house would have better prepared them for mealtimes involving loud noises, food flying through the air, unintelligible shouting and open flames, but no. (Seriously, when the smoke alarm goes off at home, Boy-Child yells ‘DINNERTIME!’ and Baby Girl dances to the piercing beeps. If ever the alarm sounds because there’s an actual fire, we’re screwed). Anyway, we finished dinner early and got our traumatised children out of there, and teppanyaki wasn’t mentioned again by anyone. I assumed that was the end of it, until I saw my little chef in the sandpit.
Me: “Err. He’s only really had one experience with professional food preparation. I don’t suppose there have been any fancy tricks involved in this cooking game?”.
As if on cue, I heard my offspring shout “Hai!” with a passable Japanese accent. I turned in time to see him fling a bowl full of sand high in the air towards his mate, who responded “Hai!”, failed to catch it but did get some sand in his mouth.
Kindy teacher: “BOYS!! Actually, there’s been a bit of sand-throwing today. I don’t know what’s gotten into them: one minute they’ll be playing chefs, the next they’ll be chucking sand at each other!”
Me: “Ahh. Perhaps I can shed some light on that. And we should probably be grateful that they don’t have access to knives or fire at this point.”