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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Pick your time even more carefully. If the kids are not alright, most doughs can chill for a couple days. And so can you.
- Make sure you are up for it, too.
- Tell your inner-Martha to get lost. Holidays are a lot more fun without that kind of pressure.
- 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.