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Mama Deb
mamadeb
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Mama Deb [userpic]
Kids and cooking

1. I started making french toast, scrambled eggs and toasted cheese when I was eight or so myself. Unsupervised. On a gas stove, too. And, yes, I did burn myself, but that was being stupid about a toaster (they were advertising frozen "toaster pizzas", so I tried it. With a non-toaster pizza. Ouch. Very, very ouch.)

2. The kids of that time period (Late 19th C US) were raised with open flames - unscreened fireplaces, wood stoves, coal stoves, camp fires, candles, and oil and kerosene lamps. Candles wired to Christmas trees. They understood the danger and knew their way around them. And fires and bad burns were still common.

It still gave me pause to think of a nine year old girl doing this unsupervised. What I wrote was my immediate reaction to kids doing things like that, and as I said, it was with my modern eyes. And maybe we watch our kids too much.

Comments

Slightly off a tangent, but related to "maybe we watch our kids too much".

I was going out with kids my age or even by myself on a swim on unsupervised beaches all the time since I was, oh, about eight? Perhaps even earlier, but definitely under ten. A couple of years ago we had visitors from a civilised country, and went down to our lakeside cottage. "Would you or your kids like to swim?" "But where is the lifeguard? and is this sanitary-certified beach?"

I would be playing in the woods around our house with kids my age or even by myself since kindergarten age. There're cliffs and chasms in those woods. The visitors from a civilised country: "Where's the closest supervised, fenced playground?"

- o -

Saw you on the friends-view of dglenn.

It's scary that it's other people around that makes it necessary to watch children, sometimes. The dangers of wilderness are better-defined.

i didn't know how to use a stove until i was 19.

i feel the same way you do :)

by the way..i got little women AND little men from the library

I'm trying to remember how old I was cooking relatively unsupervised on the gas stove. I was making soup for chickens, so I had to be nine or so.

I grew up with a wood stove and a gas stove, and was very paranoid about leaving the stove on without being lit; I had a keener nose than my mother, and was of a height to be more observant of the flame.

I totally understand. Many people loked at me in horror when I said i gave my 12 yo daughter a recipe and said "go for it" on the gingerbread house contest.

It still gave me pause to think of a nine year old girl doing this unsupervised. What I wrote was my immediate reaction to kids doing things like that, and as I said, it was with my modern eyes. And maybe we watch our kids too much.

Nothing wrong with modern eyes. Modern eyes also see that refrigeration is a good thing, cleaning utensils with soap and hot water is good, and washing one's hands cuts down on diseases.

Kids get into accidents. Kids get hurt. But thinking a kid should be surpvised while sharp things, hot liquids, and open flame are around is not a bad thing.

A while ago, a Danish woman came to NYC, and left her child unattended, in its stroller, on the sidewalk, while she went inside the restaurant to sit down and have lunch. She got arrested, and there was much noise and name-calling over busy-body Americans. Meanwhile, the Americans sat with their haws hanging open, thinging, you left your INFANT on the STREET. Do you know what can happen to a kid, when kids get snatched out of their own yards, their own bedrooms?

I watched, on a bus in Denmark, while a woman parked her baby carriage in the slot alloted to carriages on public transport--which happened to be right next to the main exit--and proceeded to stroll to a seat halfway up the bus, seat herself, and chat on her cell phone. While strangers stood over and around her child. Any one of whom could have grabbed that kid and bolted out the door before she even knew what was happening. Her kid started crying, and it took her ten minutes to finish her conversation, get up, and go to the carriage. While strangers were all standing around the carriage. A supposedly civilized country, denmark.

Some forms of so-called supervision are stupid, like warning on DVD/vidoes for smoking and aclcohol consumption. Or that infamous "Batman ballon blocker" thing that lets the whole family watch movies like "The Matrix" without all that nasty gunfire.

But I come from a different place, where threatening to burn a child's hands off on the stove was an everyday threat, and burns with irons and curling irons weren't accidents, but intentional. I come from a place where the guardians were the danger.

I don't think we supervise our children too much. I think a lot of times, we're just looking in the wrong direction.

A while ago, a Danish woman came to NYC, and left her child unattended, in its stroller, on the sidewalk, while she went inside the restaurant to sit down and have lunch. She got arrested, and there was much noise and name-calling over busy-body Americans. Meanwhile, the Americans sat with their haws hanging open, thinging, you left your INFANT on the STREET. Do you know what can happen to a kid, when kids get snatched out of their own yards, their own bedrooms?

I heard it is actually a common practice in Denmark to leave your children outside. The fresh air is supposed to be good for them. Really, it's a little sad that things are so dangerous in the USA.

I heard it is actually a common practice in Denmark to leave your children outside. The fresh air is supposed to be good for them. Really, it's a little sad that things are so dangerous in the USA.

It seems I wasn't clear in what I meant to say. Yes, that's SOP in Denmark. Children are often left on their own. My point, which got lost due to my idiocy, is that different places and different times call for different types of behavior and vigilance. What worked quite well in Denmark was a STUPID move in NYC, and shame on the parent who failed to take that into consideration.

I babysat for a (2-year-old) little girl one summer and found I didn't have to worry too much in the kitchen with her around because all I had to do was tell her something was "ot," not "hot," - "ot" and she'd stay well away, as wary as any adult. I never did find out exactly what had happened (I'm assuming something did) to make her learn that (abbreviated) word so early, but she definitely had a healthy(?) respect for fire.

I remember the first time I burnt myself baking. I spent at least an hour with my finger submerged in ice water. I feel rather silly about that now. I'm better at avoiding burns when removing things from the oven, but for some reason they don't bother me as much anymore. Too much cooking, I suppose.

And this is getting OT, but...

I think a lot of people who cook frequently develop a certain amount of not immunity to mild burns, but a tolerance for them, I suppose. It gets to the point where someone will forgo protective potholders when pushing around hot pans that would "burn" other people. It's not like we do it because we like being burned or something, but because sometimes searching for potholders isn't worth the effort.

As far as age goes - I think I was nine when I made my first solo cake. That thing was a mess, but I was so proud of myself.

For gas stoves - I prefer them over electric, because you can see the flames and know that they're hot. Electric stoves I'm likely to forget that they're 'on' and put my hand right on the burner or leave things on them and forget to turn them 'off.' This may only be because I grew up using a gas stove, I dunno.