Once in a while when it's gloomy, snowy and cold outside, the toys have been exhausted and too many crayons, pieces of play dough and blobs of paint have been consumed (I try my hardest to keep these things out of my kids mouths but for some reason they're unexplainably tasty to them) I decide it would be a fun idea to bake....with my 3 year old.
Before I had my children, I'd look at the magazines advertising these beautifully clean children, with their adorable little aprons on, dutifully being their parents little sous chef and I would think "How sweet is that? I cannot wait to teach my kids how to cook and bake Christmas cookies with them! It's going to be sooo much FUN!"
Not so much friends. Not. So. Much.
I wish I was the type of parent that didn't care so much about mess. I really, really, really do.
My husband went to pick up Adrian at our friends house the other day and came home laughing about how all the kids were eating peanuts and there were shells EVERYWHERE. Like on the floor and furniture. All over the place. When John showed up to get Adrian, they said "Yep. The kids are eating peanuts!" I truly admire that very laid back attitude. I mean, it's just mess right? It all gets cleaned up at the end of the day. But I'll be perfectly honest and tell you all right now, mess makes me bonkers. BUT only in my house. I could care less what other people's houses look like. In fact, the messier the house, the more laid back I feel.
So when I decided the other day to make a lemon loaf, Adrian was so excited to help. It was not my intention for him to be my little helper. I just had some lemons that needed to be used. My husband was home to hang out with him while I would cook dinner and make a lemon loaf. By myself.
But how do I say no to his sweet little face when he says "Mumma, I want to help you!"
So up he goes on the counter helping to dole out the flour, baking powder, salt. I let him mix it up while I get the rest of the ingredients, trying to breath evenly and deeply as I see flour flying EVERYWHERE. "Try and keep it in the bowl sweetie" I say as patiently as possible....then out of the corner of my eye within 2 seconds, I see Finley walk up to the counter, step up on the "helper" stool and grab the bowl of flour from Adrian.
Whew! Good thing I have great reflexes. They come in super handy with young children.
I get out another bowl and measure out the sugar and butter. I put the sugar in the bowl and turn to the microwave to defrost the butter so that it's easier to mix. As I turn back around, I catch Adrian with his hand almost entirely in his mouth. Sugar is everywhere. On his face, on the counter. I can feel it crunching under my slippered feet as I step toward him to take him off the counter.
I admit it. When flour and sugar is flying all over the place and bits of butter are being flung hither tither my anxiety level rockets. Others may not notice the distress it causes me but my inside emotions are flinging around, a little bit out of control.
Adrian starts freaking out, Finley starts to cry because Adrian is upset. I yell at John who is downstairs doing laundry to PLEASE get upstairs and look after the kids. I mean, really, could he have picked a more inappropriate time to be doing household chores!!?? Why does he have to be all domestic right now? My kitchen is a total disaster and I haven't even started to mix the butter and sugar.
Good Lord, help me Jesus.
I take a deep breath and start over again while John keeps Finley occupied and Adrian and I complete the task at hand with only minor altercations here and there. We survived.
And the lemon loaf is delish.