About ten days ago, Sweeney and I came home from our day and as usual, I asked him what he felt like for dinner. Normally, the answer is "ice block" or "bubble drink", but on this day he asked for spaghetti bogwugrrh. I'm no superlinguist, or even a superlinguini-ist, but I figured he meant to repeat the delightful meal he'd had at KimberleyJoeHarper's earlier in the week.
To make the whole making-dinner part of the day even more abominable than normal, Sweeney really wanted to help. He had his chair out from under the table and planted up at the bench double-quick, then vied with me for control of the garlic and the biggest, shiniest, pointiest knife immediately after.
Whatever kitchen spirits were looking down on us at that moment, something made me give him the little board, a steak knife and half an onion, with instructions to get on with it and not hurt himself.
And so we went on. When all the chopping was done, he moved his chair in front of the stove and took ownership of my favourite wooden stirring-thing. He tried so hard to empty all the vegetables into the pan without any spills, then the meat. He stirred deliberately - "shrolly", which I've learnt means "slowly" - and hardly torpedoed anything out of the pan.
He was happy for me to empty the chopped tomatoes into the mix myself. Then more stirring, shrolly. Then he managed to stay careful of the pot of boiling water on his left, even while loading spaghetti into it.
I guess it's that he's a little bit older and understands consequences and follows instructions and all that stuff, a little better than he used to. And I'm a bit better at seeing what direction he's moving in most of the time, and keeping in mind what we need to be doing thirty seconds from now.
He was so pleased with himself - check out the big grin with the pots - and continues to be so through all of our joint cooking and baking exploits since then.