We gather in the kitchen, the two of us, me to cook dinner, her to watch. I gather the tools that I need: a skillet, a spatula, a spoon, some spices and the rest of the ingredients. Then, I gather the tools that she needs: a pot, a pan, and two wooden spoons.
We work side by side, making our own music and swaying our shoulders to the beats. I stir the food in the skillet and add extra scrapes on the bottom to join in the musical flourish. She sits on the floor and hits the upside down pan, pretending to stir in the empty pot.
I start to sing a silly song about a girl and her mom, and she looks up at me, banging the equipment and giggling loudly, throwing in the occasional "bah bah bah" as my back up singer.
It may be a noisy kitchen, but it's a fun one. And educational! I'm learning how to get dinner ready with a baby in the house, and she's learning all about cause and effect. When she bangs the wooden spoon on the pot, there's a loud BANG! And when she bangs the pot on the floor, it makes another fun boom, which surprises her and makes me laugh.
Over and over, we stir the food, bang the pot, laugh and shout. I give her a metal whisk to try, and the adventure continues. Then, while dinner simmers in the skillet, I sit down with her and tap a beat on her little metal pot, along with her bangs and booms, and we make up another song until the timer beeps, telling me that the food is ready. I wipe off the utensils and the pot and pan, and put them away for our next kitchen concert.