I JUST want to make dinner. How do I keep her busy?

Dear Nana: How do you keep your toddler occupied while making dinner when a busy box doesn’t work? — Hangry in Harrisburg

Dear Hangry in Harrisburg: First, know that this is one of THE most challenging things for a mom! Of course there is the old Tupperware cabinet trick (you open the door and let ’em at it), but if you don’t have one of those or don’t want to spend the hour after dinner picking up lids and containers, you could hand her a wooden spoon and a couple pans to bang on (IF you can take the noise that ensues). What has worked best at this stage for me was to park her in her highchair with some Play Doh or other art activity that only needs limited oversight. You may only get 20 minutes or so before she gets bored, but unless you are Julia Child, that’s probably enough to get dinner in the oven or on the table. Good luck!

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