When I was little, I was an only child. That meant that when it was time to do yard work, it was me, myself and I that had to help my folks. With some chores, like picking up stones or scooping up after the dog, my mom or dad would show me what to do and then leave me to it. I don’t remember a lot of times that we all went out to work in the yard or garden. That is not to say that I had to do all of the work. Mom loved to garden and did it herself. Dad mostly mowed the lawn by himself.
It took me a little while to realize that having one child go do a chore is completely different than sending out four or five to do it. One of the kids often appoints himself boss (tyrant) and tries to get everyone to do what he wants. Another often wanders away or starts studying bugs, thus not doing any real work. Another often gets mad and stomps off, yelling that he won’t do anything as long as the boss (tyrant) is out there with him. Yup, it just doesn’t pay to send them off by themselves because nothing gets done.
So if I want a garden hoed or a yard cleaned up, I go out and work with the kids. The tendencies to boss or wander are still there, but by exerting my parental authority, which is not always easy with the boss (tyrant), I can usually get a couple of productive hours out of the group.
A few years ago, we prepared my mom’s garden for her. All of the kids and I had tools of some sort, even Princess Pat. We each took a section and went to work. There were a few interruptions. Princess Pat found a tiny garter snake. Then she found it again. Then she hit it with a hoe. Then the brothers had to lecture her. Then she had to cry. Then the boss had to criticize the wanderer and the yeller had to yell a bit. In the end, however, we were proud of getting the job done and we laughed more than we cried.
As the kids get older, it’s easier for them to work together…as long as a parent is with them. More gets done in a shorter amount of time and the kids are starting to see that getting along isn’t so bad.
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 1 cup crushed rice crackers
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- ½ lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 slices ham (or hard salami)
- 4 slices Swiss cheese (or Muenster)
- Flatten chicken to ¼ inch thick.
- Place egg in a shallow bowl.
- Put cracker crumbs in another shallow bowl.
- Dip chicken in egg and then in crumbs; set aside.
- Saute mushrooms in 1 Tbsp olive oil until tender; remove and set aside.
- In the same skillet, cook chicken in the remaining olive oil for 3-4 minutes on each side or until juices run clear.
- Top each chicken breast half with a ham slice and cheese slice.
- Broil chicken for 4-6 minutes until cheese is melted.
- Serve with mushrooms.
- Broil 4 inches from the heat for 1-2 minutes or until cheese is melted.