Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Baking pumpkin pie isn't easy, but someone's got to do it


Often, when I ask Max if he'd like to do an activity or read a new book, his first response is "NO!" That's what happened this weekend, when I asked if he wanted to bake a pumpkin pie. I told him we could make one for him (he's the only one in our family who likes it—the rest of us are apple pie people), and one for his firefighter friends at the local station. 

"No!" said Max, as expected.

Max has powered through a whole lot of challenges in his life, including walking, learning how to ride a bike and using his fingers to pick up objects (aka the pincer grasp). As he's gotten older, though, I think he's realizing how much fine-motor effort is involved in tasks like baking and focus is required for reading, which is still an emerging skill. Max has more use of his left than his right one but still, holding spoons and kitchen gadgets does not come easy to him. It's so much easier to, say, sit around and watch YouTube videos of fire engines zooming to fires. Not that I know any kid like that.

Of course, I had ulterior motives with the baking—I wanted him to use his hands, or at least one of them (when he has to do tasks, he ends up in a Napoleon Bonaparte pose in which he rests his right hand on his belly as his left does most of this work). I also keep hoping that one of these days, he'll enunciate the letter "p." Double letter bonus for pumpkin pie.

"Come on, Max, are you sure you don't want bake two pies? And bring one to the fire station?" 

I've found that if I persist, he'll usually reconsider.

"No!" he said. And then, a few seconds later: "Yeah!" 

It was a no-brainer recipe—eggs, pumpkin purée, a ridiculously overpriced canister of pumpkin spice, pie crust. Max helped me measure ingredients and did all the stirring, and because I doubled the batter it was a little harder [insert evil parental cackling here].

That voice in the background saying "umpin eye" after I asked "Max, what are you making?" is Sabrina. Because, siblings.

Twice as nice

He said, and I quote, "Mmmmm...." 

Special delivery

Max himself had some ulterior motives, because as we were about to walk into the fire station he informed me that he'd like to stay there and eat the pie with the firefighters. And I was all, "No, we are dropping it off, you have a pie at home you can eat—this is for the firefighters!"

So he handed over the pie (using two hands!) and he was very proud of himself. Then he was off and running to write his name on the call board, check out Ladder 31 (his favorite) and talk about the meaning of life with Firefighter Connor.

My next goal: Teach him how to make dinner. What great therapy that would be!