Mikey: “Mama, I don’t feel well but I don’t want to take a nap. I want to sit on the sofa and relax.”
Jules: “Well, alright. You can sit in the Lay-Z-Boy. How’s that?”
Mikey: “OK. But I want to watch Mazy Cook.”
Jules: “You want to watch Mazy Cook?” I scanned through the roledex of cartoons in my head and drew a blank. “What does Mazy look like?”
Mikey: “She’s just a mommy. She has brown hair like this,” Mikey looked at me with both hands pressed on either side of his face. “and she has brown eyes.”
I immediately thought of someone who matched the description, but I thought maybe it was a mistake.
Mikey: “And Mazy makes cookies and cakes and chicken and juice and steak and cookies and smoothies and soup and cookies and she’s just a mommy!”
Jules: “Mikey, is this Mazy?” I pressed the TiVO button and looked back at him with a mixture of amusement and confusion when a huge smile broke across his tired face.
My three year old has a crush on Ina Garten. Clearly he has Oedipal issues, because I’m pretty sure that’s what I’m going to look like in 30 years. And I know why he calls her Mazy. If you’ve ever watched The Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network, you know Ina loves to state how many of her ingredients “Amaaaazing” in her east coast accent.
And so that is how it came to be that on a Wednesday and Thursday afternoon in May Mikey and I watched back to back multiple episodes of The Barefoot Contessa, many of them two and three times. During commercial breaks he would run to his toy kitchen and reenact some of the finer parts of the episodes, talking to the wall in his toy room like it was a studio audience.
Why is this my favorite moment? Well, because it’s hilarious. Mikey is almost four and I think it’s amaaaazing how obsessed with cooking he has become. Since Santa brought him his toy kitchen in 2006, he has played with it every day. And Santa brought him that kitchen because Mama was tired of looking for her pots and pans after they had gone missing. His teachers at school say all he does is make elaborate dinners and desserts in the kitchen and serves them to the class and faculty.
I love that we are really getting a glimpse at his personality. He is developing likes, dislikes, innate skills and talent and all around becoming a little guy. I love that he is passionate about something. His joy for cooking may not last forever, but I love that right now it is gender neutral and isn’t some prototypical “boy” thing, like playing army. I love that he is well rounded and gentle and funny and not some violent little monster. I love that all the cakes he bakes in his toy kitchen “don’t have eggs in them, mama.” I love that he has a group of boys at school that are now his soux chefs. I love that when he is done cooking he’ll go outside and play golf or soccer or baseball. And I really, really, really love that he asked for Mazy and not Rachel Ray.