It is oft said that parenting involves sacrifice. I don't think there are many who claim it easy. However, much less is said about the costs of being cared for.
According to a well-known Australian online parenting directory (as well as a host of scientific research) play between senior recipe testers and their juniors is good. It strengthens the relationship between the two. It fosters healthy recipe tester development... look it pretty much sorts out any problem you can think of.
'Right', thought the chief recipe tester and I. Caring parents play with their junior recipe testers. We reasoned we were caring parents. And so ignoring the personal costs to ourselves we played.
First up was a rousing game of tips. To increase the physical challenge, I decided tipping was not enough. I picked up a passing junior recipe tester and put him on the ground. His eyes bulged and then filled with tears. I then spent the next five minutes plucking bindiis from his hands. In my excitement I had failed to note the large patch of prickles I plonked him in.
We abandoned this activity and turned to bike riding. Safety first though: all junior recipe testers were fitted with their helmets. Noting the incorrect position of one helmet I sought to redress the misplacement. I inadvertently poked her in the eye. It appears that monocular vision makes bike riding difficult.
Outdoor play, while supposedly beneficial, appeared a little dangerous. We moved indoors. The chief recipe tester, fearing for the well-being of his now wounded offspring, took charge. Noting the many tripping hazards on the playroom floor he set to make the space safer. He promptly commenced bulldozing toys with his foot. This, he reasoned, would get them out of the path of the oncoming recipe testers lest they trip and fall. Quite right. Until he slipped. And accidentally kicked a junior recipe tester on his way down...
If the cost of caring is taking it out of you (or your offspring) let us take care of dinner. Here's what we're cooking next week.