Here’s an amazing idea. Let’s bake cookies. Like perfect ones with sprinkles and perfectly shaped trees and reindeers. The keyword here? PERFECT. Unfortunately perfect does not exist for moms. We’ve all been there. You know, where you think things are going to be so much smoother than they actually turn out to be. Everything falls into this ‘magical’ thinking. Nursery? Well, why wouldn’t she want to interact with new people and make friends? Kid’s birthday party planning? Of course I can start the night before, how much time do I really need? Ergo: Home-baked Christmas cookies? You can see where this is going.
Recipe for Christmas cookies for a toddler:
Avoid any recipe
Don’t spend your time looking up recipes, or kid-friendly recipes, or gluten-free recipes or any such folly. Bottom line? Flour, eggs, raising agents, spices, and milk mingle and something random such as Fruit Loops or mustard goes in… much to your resistance. Don’t fight it. I’ve learned to let go of wanting to eat the result and let her do what she wants. She’ll learn her lesson soon enough when she eats engine-hot pancakes. ‘And that is why we don’t add jalapeños into brownie batter, my angel!’
There will be a minimum of 2 tantrums per ingredient
I apparently was not supposed to pour the flour in the bowl or out of the package or utter the word, “flour” at all. And that egg she insisted on cracking and promptly letting go of and adding to the besmeared floor? I should pretend I never saw that.
Ditch the measuring cup
This isn’t really about the baking. Or the measuring. Or the mixing. Or anything at all, really. She is so goal oriented that she wants the cookies and doesn’t care why or how she gets them. She really doesn’t care what kind of cookies she’s making. Or you’re making rather. Accept these facts and hold yourself back from grabbing the spoon to mix the batter properly. Isn’t this supposed to be mother-daughter bonding time? No. It’s her chance to lick the spoon. Then the bowl.
Jingle bells can and should be used as a distraction. Sing it loud and tie bells to every one of your limbs. What the hell, tie a belly-dancing belt around yourself too. Another distraction you can implement? Put sweet goo on her nose and watch her try to lick it off for hours. This can also be done with your cocker spaniel.
Perfect is boring
I guess going forward I really need to learn to expect the worst but hope for the best. I swear, mommyhood is really a whole load of expecting, hoping and dealing. Dealing with them (them being your offspring) as if I’ve just taken a Xanax – slow to react, goofy smile pinned on, and who cares if you’ve just lost your wedding ring in the batter and it’s now baking inside a reindeer.
“Messi” is more than a soccer player
You know this. We all know this. Unfortunately knowing and accepting are two very different things. Why is it so hard for mommies to learn this stuff? Accept the mess and know also that cinnamon, powdered ginger, and cookie decorations can and will be snorted. You can get a nasal rinse to get those silver sugar balls right out. In the meantime she’ll just smell like a mini gingerbread person. Enjoy!
I always have high expectations. Note to self – head out the house and buy biscuits. Taking off the plastic is an effort and will actually get you in the Christmas spirit, trust me.