Thursday, October 30, 2008

Knife Skills

Imagine my surprise when I returned to the kitchen from changing Batya's diaper to find Shira standing on a dining room chair at the counter holding half an orange in one hand and a knife in the other. (The orange was whole when I left.) Need I say I crossed the length of our kitchen in record time?

Lately Shira has been moving anything she can find into the kitchen to help her get into the upper cabinets. She has dished out cereal and lollipops to her sisters, offered the juice boxes and come to me with bags of pasta for dinner. Aba has threatened to put the kitchen gate back up, but I don't think that is the answer. For one thing, I'm in there a lot and they like to help me clean and cook. This is why I'm working on moving my desk or freezer out of the kitchen so that I can move in a short work surface for them. So I work at keeping an eye on her, listening for the tell-tale sound of furniture being moved and I'm busy decluttering and finding homes for everything.

My first instinct was to take the knife away and screech at her. But she looked so proud as she told me that she was cutting the orange. So I told her that she was welcome to cut things but she had to have Ima or Aba there to help until she got really good at it because she could hurt herself. At this point she shows me her finger and a very shallow cut and tells me it hurts. (It was one of those papercut types of cuts on the side of her index finger.)

I made her get off the chair and use the stool. Then I told her that we only cut on the board. Next we positioned the orange half on the board and we cut the orange into wedges. I kept my hands over hers to stop her, but let her do the cutting. Whenever she got to the point where her fingers were in danger I stopped her and, keeping her hands and the knife as they were, I showed her that if she continued she would cut herself. Then we corrected our grips and continued.

She ended up cutting two oranges into 4 pieces each. At the very end Batya came in and wanted to cut, too. I told her tomorrow so I guess I know what snack we'll be having. We plated our oranges and had them with dinner and I bandaged up Shira's finger.

Later I was Kmart and came across a package of four tiny paring knives. I purchased them and put away all of my knives. (They used to hang on a magnetic wall rack.) The paring knives will go up next week (pushed to the end so they are harder to get, but still out).

Needless to say there are no pictures of this experience. I'm hoping to get Aba to take a picture sometime, but he is a bit freaked out about it so I don't know.