Thursday, December 13, 2007

Mommy Doesn't Deserve a Cookie

You know those days when the writing on the wall is screaming at you and you ignore it anyway.

Yeah, those. I had this cookie dough. This impossible, crumbly, difficult cookie dough. And I had this child, this tired, cranky, difficult child.

And I said, "Let's make cookies!"

I said it despite the screaming. No, not the wall screaming at me. The child. The two time outs before dinner, the not listening. The one-out-of-three-star day at pre-school. It all added up to about an hour of pain. Of out of control Terrible Twos and angry mommy. Oh, the pain, the pain.

And then, it was over. As the cookies crumbled, we were washing our hands. I said, "Kiddo, Mommy was cranky, and snapped at you. And you were not so good at listening, too."

"Yeah, not fun," she said.

"I think we can do better. I'm very sorry. Are you sorry, too?"

"I'm sorry, Mommy."

"Me, too, Kiddo. I love you."

Mommy didn't deserve a cookie that night. Of course, neither did anyone else. But I did deserve to learn a lesson or two about cooking with young kids. Here is the writing from the wall:
  1. Pick your recipe carefully. Make sure it has a good task in it that your child can do. Leave the difficult recipes for another time, or leave them out.
  2. Decorating and sprinkles are ideal projects for kids, if a bit messy. The finished cookies also remove the chance of your child eating raw eggs in the dough.
  3. Pick your time even more carefully. If the kids are not alright, most doughs can chill for a couple days. And so can you.
  4. Make sure you are up for it, too.
  5. Tell your inner-Martha to get lost. Holidays are a lot more fun without that kind of pressure.
  6. Consider a few child-friendly tools. I realized my finger-crushing marble rolling pin was better left in my hands. I bought a child-size silicone version for the small sous chef.
I hate my bad moments as a mom. They make me feel like putting myself in time out. This weekend, I'll have another chance. A whole batch of sugar cookies to decorate and a couple kids to help. Wish me luck.


BoyNamedSous said...

The wine. Don't forget hefty amounts of wine.

BoyNamedSous said...

The wine. Don't forget hefty amounts of wine.

jen said...

at least you try. think how many don't even try. you do good, mama.

mpg said...

I feel like I could have written this post! Know that you aren't alone.

When your five-year-old keeps asking you "why does your face look so serious Mommy?" you know it's time to lighten up!

mamagotcha said...

Oh, I've been there, mama! Just 'fessing up and getting it out of your system will do you a world of good, I promise. And you totally nailed the secret of living with a toddler: planning ahead. Don't go to the store with a tired, hungry kid. Don't try to rush someone who's just learning how to deal with wearing clothes, much less dressing themselves. Try to remember what it's like to be small, powerless, learning the language and myriad rules. A little respect and forethought are worth a ton of cookies any day!

The Expatriate Chef said...

Thanks, so true, so very true!