One boy came home tired and dirty from the fair.
At supper time, he ate like a little piglet, and then began to pester to go to the playground. "Listen," we explained in reasonable tones. "We've been working all day. We have things to get done inside the house before we go back to work tomorrow. You had a fun day already and you'll spend most of tomorrow at the playground."
He glared and sulked. "I'm bored!" he whined. "I don't have anything to do." And he flounced to the living room to complain and mope.
I channeled my inner grandma. "Come on," I said. "You can be a chef." Major meltdown ensued. He wanted to do something FUN, not work. "Nope, you're bored, can't find anything to do. I've got something for you to do."
He wailed the blues while I chopped the carrots, celery, mushrooms, chicken, onions, asparagus, garlic, etc. and dumped them in a fry pan with the left over chicken. He howled as he sauteed them. He was still howling when we added the thick rich chicken broth from the multipot and added the rice.
I ignored him and kept on cleaning the kitchen. "Just think," I said, "you're cooking tomorrow's supper!"
To which Mr. Picky said, "WE GOTTA EAT THIS FOR SUPPER?!!! Get ready for a big fit at suppertime." And his lip stuck out stubbornly.
We had a discussion about the fact that he was being terribly rude, while we discussed how pretty our rice dish looked with the colored vegetables, "Hey, I said, "get a bit of rice and tell me whether you think it's done or not. Blow on it," I reminded him. He nibbled and looked at me in amazement. "This is very good."
By the time we were done with the rice, we decided what to make for dessert and while the brownies baked, we had a stern talking to about how he's not the boss, and that no means no, and every time he starts complaining about being bored, I'll find something for him to do.
Licking the spatula, he said, "But I love helping you cook, grandma. It's fun."