It has always been true that the time during which I prepare dinner is Emmett's roughest time of the day. Not only is he a snuggler, but he likes to be in on the action and when I am in the kitchen is the one time, guaranteed, that he wants to be held - a task which isn't so feasible when I am working over a hot stove or need both hands - which is every night. So most evenings, unless I don't need Daddy's help (which frees him to distract our little man), we endure Emmett's fussing until he is in his chair with food in front of him.
It wasn't until recently that I realized, it's not just being close to us that he desires - he just wants to see what's going on. Thus, I have begun inviting him to stand on the stool which has hitherto been reserved for Sissy - since the age when she first began to desire the same thing. This being up just high enough to witness the goings-on up above has made these times in the kitchen much more bearable for everyone.
Of course, now we have to pull in a second stool so Sissy isn't left out. But now they can both happily cook alongside Momma.
Please note in these pictures, Emmett is not actually cooking on a hot stove, but, rather, he is playing with the dirty dishes left over from this morning's breakfast. I don't know if that makes it better, but at least it's safer than it appears.