How Cooking With A Toddler Follows The Five Stages of Grieving

Posted November 29, 2011

As you may have already guessed from the title, this post is not strictly about writing. It’s about cooking. But here’s the thing – cooking and writing are very connected to me. I love to cook and I tend to come up with my best writing ideas while I am in the kitchen. There is something incredibly soothing and peaceful about all of the chopping, the measuring, the stirring . . . at least, most of the time. Sometimes my attempts to Zen-out while cooking are thwarted by a small cyclone of energy with the attention span of a gnat who calls me Mom. Yesterday, as I watched said-cyclone wreak havoc in my kitchen, it occurred to me how closely this situation was following Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s five stages of grieving: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.

Denial – Oh sure, I can totally cook up three courses plus dessert while The Munchkin plays quietly in the corner. And if she starts to get restless, I’ll hand her a spoon and a bowl and let her “help.” Ahh, doesn’t she look sweet in that little apron I bought her? This is going to be priceless mother-daughter time.

Anger – How has this devil child already tired of every activity in the vicinity of the kitchen? Why must she start screaming bloody murder at the crucial stage of each recipe, forcing me to choose between allowing the sauce to break or letting her howl in rage as though she has just cut off a finger? And is that the apron I bought her, wadded up and stuffed in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator?

Bargaining – Ok, ok. I can still salvage this. If I cede a corner of the kitchen to the Child Tornado and just not care that the flour and water she has spilled on the floor has turned into a paste, I should still be able to get most of the salad back into the bowl, stir the sauce before it congeals, and possibly even get the cookies in the oven before total Munchkin Meltdown occurs . . .

Depression – This is never going to work. How is it possible that this pint-sized menace has managed to open every drawer and cabinet in the kitchen (including the ones that were child-locked), grab things on counters that were firmly out of her reach (go-go-gadget arms?), and cover herself in a sticky, foul-smelling goo that I will be picking out of her hair for days to come, all in the space of just fifteen minutes?

Acceptance – Fine. We’re ordering pizza. At least the cookies turned out ok. Dessert is the most important part of the meal anyway ☺

Posted in News and Events


  1. Sibyl Rossler

    January 2, 2012 at 4:15 pm


    Great post. I am facing a couple of these problems.

  2. Kathrine Everetts

    January 21, 2012 at 8:10 am


    Would you mind if I posted this article on my web page? I would give you credit and a link back to your website. Appreciate it, and if possible let me know here, or email me!

  3. Iris Bayhonan

    January 26, 2012 at 6:23 am


    Excuse me, but I attempted to email you regarding an issue on your website but the given email address didn’t work. Is there an alternative place I might contact you?

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