I'm learning more and more how to include my kids when I'm working in the kitchen. Kieran loves to help (provided I'm not using the electric mixer or blender, in which case he runs away) and is always asking to bring a chair in so he can help. This is forcing me to give up some control and to allow for more messes. I do enjoy working with him, though. Right now Charlotte is content to be given a bowl and a spoon and play on the floor.
I've also found that this is providing him with valuable skills and information. He's learnt how to stir mixes, and he's in charge of the spices sometimes (he's especially fond of rosemary and garlic). He insists on helping to roll out pizza dough and grind up pepper or crush garlic with the mortar and pestle. He loves to stir sauces and put noodles in the pot and help me with the pasta maker. I'm having to learn to be more patient and allow more time for cooking, though I really do love watching him in the kitchen with me.