I've now lived with teen-age boys for three and a half years, and looking back, I do wonder what all the worry was about. My boys are much easier now, and so much more fun to be with, than when they were infants (and here's where I cross my fingers for the future). True, they're boys and they're teen-agers, a combination that sometimes makes their psychology a little cryptic to a mom (at least, to this mom). So I've learned not to be surprised by the surprising things they do. For example, one morning my big boy looked up from his book, and said, totally out of the blue, "Shall I make crêpes?"
Now, we've never once had crêpes in this family, let alone crêpes at 11am. But I know that there are bursts of initiative in my children that need to be encouraged as they arise, no matter how inconvenient the moment may be, or that inspiration may pass and never return. So, I didn't say: "What a good idea! Why don't we have them for dessert tonight?", because by then, the crêpe enthusiasm might well have faded away. And after all, making crêpes is a valuable skill in life, right?
That morning, crêpes were cooked for the first time in my kitchen, at 11am by my teen chef. He searched for a recipe online, neatly set out pots and pans and ingredients, and wasn't the least bit phased when he found that Nutella jar (not actually Nutella, but the FairTrade version) was totally empty – someone had polished it off without bothering to dispose of the empty jar! Can you imagine? (What did I say about teen boy psychology?). He opted for honey filling instead.
He made and ate the first honey crêpe in about 5 minutes. And also a second. The third crêpe required a little more work. At that point, as incredible as it sounds, my boy had no more appetite, but there was still a lot more batter to use up. So, in a way that represents solid problem-solving but doesn't show much haute cuisine finesse, he simply poured all the remaining batter into the sizzling pan, and made a one-centimeter-thick crêpe-thing that he presented to his siblings that evening for dessert as a homemade French-style delicacy. Without much success.
Nevertheless, he was very pleased with his cooking, forgot to wash up the pots and pans, but remembered to write on the grocery list, "Nutella."