It took us a few months to get a class that worked into our schedule (what?! It's football season!). So when we found out that a Big Chef/Little Chef class was coming up in November, we signed right up. Lucky for us, our friend Alex and his wife Lisa are the owners of the Young Chef's Academy in Round Rock so we have the hook up on when classes are coming up.
Our first class was last Saturday and just as we suspected, Avery loved it. She was so excited the whole car ride there. She asked questions about what they would have at the class and what her teacher's name would be. She was very intent on picking out her own apron, which would be pink, of course. We really couldn't get to class fast enough for that child. It might have been the longest 15 minute car ride of her life (and mine).
We got to YCA just in time for class to start. Chef Lisa came out to the lobby to meet the kids and go over the rules. That's when I realized that we have "that child."
Oh, you know the one I am talking about. Poor Chef Lisa could hardly get a word out before Avery was talking over her asking questions. Chef Lisa talked about grabbing an apron and Avery shouted, "I want a pink one!" before she could even finish her sentence. When Chef Lisa informed her that she only had white ones, Avery tried to tell her about the pink polka dot apron she has at home.
(That's when I considered backing up a little hoping that maybe I could pretend to be the parent of one of the other kids that was sitting there quietly.)
Even though the class was for kids 3-5 years old, somehow Avery was the only one that was talking like crazy. The others were sitting there like sweet angels just listening intently to what Lisa had to say.
Once we had our hands washed and aprons on, Chef Lisa reviewed the menu with everyone. When she started describing how to shred carrots for the first recipe, Avery said "I want to do it! I want to do it! I want to shred. I like carrots!" It didn't matter that Lisa had already prefaced her statement with the information that everyone would get a chance to help shred carrots.
Maybe Avery didn't believe her. Maybe Avery was experiencing some form of short term memory loss that caused her to forget that Lisa had, just seconds earlier, told everyone that they would get a chance to participate. Maybe Avery has a hearing problem and has gotten along in life just by watching for context clues. It's possible that she has trust issues and simply didn't believe Lisa. I really don't know. All I can say is that Lisa is a better woman than I am because I was ready to strangle this child of mine.
Don't even think that she would let me help her because that was NOT happening. We might still be there shredding that same carrot today if Chef Lisa wasn't good at being tricky. She was able to get the carrot away from Avery by distracting her with the next cool thing, which happened to be a knife.
While Lisa was trying to explain how to cut the bread, Avery was busy saying, "I want to cut! I want the pink knife! I want to cut. Can I have the pink knife? Can I have the pink knife? That knife, right there in your hand. Can I have it?" I thought her head might actually explode. She could hardly keep her bottom on the chair when she was waiting for Lisa to give her a knife and a plate.
It was right then that I realized that Lisa was sent directly from Heaven because there is no way that I could deal with children like mine all day. Especially with knives so close within reach.
OH THANK GOODNESS she happened to get the pink knife and plate. Imagine! I wonder how Chef Lisa knew that Avery wanted it so bad...
After she rolled her hotdog in the bread that she cut and smashed, she patiently waited for her turn to brush butter on her bread. She was uncharacteristically calm when she was waiting and I was thinking that maybe she was over her initial excitement and was settling down back into her normal self. (oh please! oh please! oh please! let her just be excited and not really like this in real life. oh please! oh please! oh please!)
The pictures make her look much more innocent than she really is.
Chef Lisa showed her what the ingredients for the carrot soup looked like after they were finished cooking but before they got mixed to smithereens. Despite already knowing everything, Avery was very interested when Lisa would show her ingredients, tools, or food that looked different. She did seem to pay attention to Lisa when she wasn't getting ready for a new task.
But her patience was short lived when Lisa brought out a wisk that they would use to mix the honey mustard. Before she could even tell everyone what they would be doing Avery wanted to make it clear that SHE COULD STIR. SHE WANTED TO STIR. SHE COULD DO IT. I'm not even sure Lisa finished her instructions before she just handed it over. I mean, it wasn't like anyone else was learning anything with Avery boldly proclaiming to KNOW HOW TO DO IT ALL. (I started to think that this should be a drinking class and not just a cooking class.)
I don't think Lisa got the wisk out of her hands before Avery took over.
And then she stirred again when it came time to mix the yogurt into the carrot soup.
Sweet relief came when all the food was done and it was time to eat. Chef Lisa talked about the importance of trying something even if you think you don't like it because "your tongue might like it even if your eyes don't" which actually sunk in with Avery. She tried everything and even though she didn't like the soup or honey mustard, it was new for her to at least have a taste.
Later when Grammie asked her about class she repeated her newfound knowledge that trying new things is good because your tongue might like it. I was happy to hear that she learned something in class since she seemed to know it all while we were there.
Well of course she has to try the hot dog. It's all about trying something new...
*(slaps hand to head)*
I think it might have killed her to actually look at the camera for one picture.
All that is to say that I guess I am going to owe huge Christmas gifts to Avery's teachers because I had no idea what they had to put up with all day. This was our first experience in a class together since she was 2 years old in Gymboree. She obviously wasn't such a know-it-all then. Everyone knows that 3 year olds are much more worldly than 2 year olds.
Matt is going to take her to the next class so I will be interested to see if she behaves the same way with him as she did with me. Lisa was fantastic with all the kids. It has to be tough to have some totally quiet kids that you aren't really getting any reaction from and then have Little Miss Chatterbox that you can't seem to find the "off" switch to. She had such great control of the class and Avery really did have a great time.
She can't wait to go back to YCA for another class in two weeks. I hope Lisa is all stocked up on patience by then. :-)