We started watching Masterchef Junior last week at the request of the kids, and I do not think I can continue to watch that show. It’s just too depressing.
Last week, a nine-year-old girl made a molten lava cake. She’s nine. NINE. Several kids aged 10 or 11 made their own pasta. From SCRATCH. One 11-year-old boy made his own tortellini. Other kids, aged perhaps 11 or 12, took raw squid and turned it into a gorgeous, restaurant-quality dish.
I think you can see how I might get a little down in the dumps watching this kind of thing.
I mean, wonder kids exist all over, there’s always some 15-year-old sailing solo around the world or some 13-year-old playing a solo piano concert at Carnegie Hall, or some 12-year-old scoring more hockey goals in a season than half the NHL. But the cooking, the COOKING, it is killing me. I will never be a sailor or an Olympic athlete or a concert pianist, and I have come to terms with that. But every day, I prepare three meals for five people. Cooking, much as I hate it, has become my de facto job, my forced-upon hobby, my raison d’etre around here (yesterday, the Captain referred to me in a dibs-calling-war as his “personal chef,” and yes, SO TRUE.)
So to see children, CHILDREN, understanding the difference in saltiness between certain kinds of cheese, or inventing their own recipe for lime/coconut cupcakes, is just so freaking DEPRESSING. Years of cooking, and still I can’t hold a candle to a freaking NINE YEAR OLD.
And even worse, it has me looking askance at the kids. I know, I know, I should be satisfied that they are (mostly) happy and (kind of) healthy. It is rare, I need to remind myself, that a child stumbles across a thing they truly love at such a young age, and have the personality and drive to work away at it for long hours, and have the parental support they need to make it all happen. Plenty of other families, I tell myself, have kids that whine when they aren’t allowed to play that fourth hour of video games in a day, or that cry when asked if they would (for once) actually practice the piano, or that love every single activity so much that they flit from one thing to another every five minutes.
And still. When you see kids like that on TV, don’t we all ask ourselves what’s wrong with our own freaking children? Is it too much to ask that they, occasionally, bring home a school mark higher than a B-minus? Is it too much to ask that they find an activity, any activity that does not involve Super Mario or Fruit Ninjas, and actually want to spend time doing it? Is it too much to ask for them to at least TRY to cure cancer??
Making things even worse is this article I read over at MamaPop, in which Mia Farrow’s son Ronan Farrow is revealed to be the son of Frank Sinatra, not Woody Allen. But much, much more important than his dashing good looks and killer blue eyes is this segment:
“Ronan Farrow started college at the age of 11, went on to Yale Law School at 15, and was a Rhodes Scholar and lawyer like 10 minutes later. Now he fights for humanitarian causes and serves on councils that do stuff I don’t even have the energy to Google. Oh, he also founded the State Department Office of Global Youth Issues in the Obama Administration.”
It’s like, why did I even BOTHER procreating? We’re a whole family of crap-ass. SIGH.