I was tired, it was late, I was stressed by work overload, and I was planning on a quick kid-food dinner, but her happy attitude was infectious. "OK!" I said.
And then, I learned the miracle of girls. I pulled out a bag of chicken nuggets and explained to her what to do: get a tray, put some aluminum foil on it, put the nuggets on the tray, put the tray in the oven, set the oven to 400 degrees. And she did it all -- focused, cheerful, full of happy adorable comments along the way.
Of course, I handled the hot-dangerous part, like turning the nuggets and pulling them out, but truly, my six-year-old daughter did darned near everything else. If it's possible, I think she was prouder than I was, exclaiming again and again that SHE helped with dinner, and SHE can make chicken nuggets now all by herself, and SHE is my best kitchen helper.
She sure is!