What can do you do when a toddler is constantly underfoot in the kitchen?
With two-year-old Chelsey, before I came to Parents Anonymous, I really had no idea what I should do. When I was using a razor to slice frozen meats for Chinese dishes, I was concerned that she would reach for the blade since she was so curious. I knew parents used gates so I built a sturdy one out of pine and drilled plenty of holes so she could see me. Chelsey did not care, though, and she would scream and throw things over the top of the gate. She eventually outgrew her clinginess over time, thank goodness.
My last child had no sense of personal space and was glued to me all – day – long. It could be annoying but I knew Katie would outgrow that stage so I tried to be patient. Some days, though, when I was trying to get supper on the table, I would almost trip or stumble over her – sometimes carrying hot foods or heavy pots. It could get dangerous for both of us, something I wanted to avoid.
Appealing to her creative nature, I put Katie in a chair at the table. I took a square of aluminum foil and made five cuts as you will see in the image. The spaces would be crumple shaped into a head, two arms, two legs and a body.
After showing Katie once, she was eager to create a Tin Man whenever she saw the familiar square of foil. That simple craft would give me time to get supper on the table safely and let her explore her creativity. The foil was not expensive and it was not discarded until it was recycled. Here are a couple reuses for Tin Men that have served their purpose:
• Scrub kitchen pots or the burned on drips from the bottom of the oven.
• Scrub the outdoor grill clean before cooking.
• Rub rust spots off of garden tools, metal car bumpers or shower-curtain rods.
We all come up with things that work to keep our sanity and keep our kids safe. What are some of your solutions?