Posting it just so I can remember
No, I do not know why there were post-its in the bathroom.

Stinkin' kids

Sunday evening, around six o'clock, I was reminded that Max and Raphael wanted to bake something for the next day's baking contest at monday school. (Tre wanted to bake something too, but he was in Phoenix with my parents and I am sorry, but there are limits.) This news threw me into a tailspin of grump, because I was feeling queasy and I'm tired of feeling queasy, and the last thing I wanted to do was bake brownies. Blech.


Now, I love to bake, and I love my children, so you would think that baking with my children would be one long slow-motion montage with us laughing fondly at each other's cheek smudges of chocolate, me carefully steadying a small hand as it scoops-and-levels the flour, and my sons, gazing in wonder at the baked goods they've made, whilst I blink back tears of joy as I gaze at them.

That's not exactly how it works.

When I say "not exactly," what I mean is "not even close." I can't stand baking with the kids. I know that's a shameful thing to admit, but I'm all about keeping it real. Our kitchen is small, and they tend to stand right behind my elbow or plant their feet right behind mine. Between you and me, I suspect they're trying to kill me. Besides that, they're always touching stuff, and spilling things, and knocking glasses over. 

Okay, that last paragraph, right there? Was clearly written by a horrible, controlling woman, who watches her children with tendons standing out on her neck and a vein throbbing in her forehead. She mutters unkind things under her breath and then makes too-cheerful pronouncements in a too-chirpy voice. I am horrified.

And yet, the truth stands. I hate doing stuff in the kitchen with my lovely children. I just do.

Nonetheless, I bucked up and helped both Max and Raphael select a recipe and navigate their way through it, from the first dusting of spilled flour all the way through to a fragrant finished product. Blech. I did lots of lamaze breathing and finding of my happy place the whole time, and by the end I think they pretty much believed we had a good time. Clay was not in the slightest bit fooled, and sidled up to me and murmured in my ear, "sooo...are you okay?" 

I sent them to bed and spent a few satisfying minutes shoving things around in the kitchen before I relinquished clean up duty to Clay. He's better at it anyhow. I went somewhere else to be grumpy and queasy. I did it up right. Grump.

The next morning you would have thought the grumpiness at least would have dissipated like so much foul morning dew. You would be wrong. I managed to get the children breakfast, and pack them a lunch, all of this despite the fact that Tre was still in Phoenix (what, now I'm supposed to unload my OWN dishwasher? Like a SAVAGE?). As we headed out to the van, Max and Raphael each clutching their plate full of baked goods, Max turned to gaze at me with large, soulful eyes.

"Mom? THANK YOU for helping us bake this stuff and THANK YOU for packing lunches for us and...just THANK YOU because you do EVERYTHING FOR US." He leaned over and rested his head against my arm, a no-hands version of a hug, then turned and hopped into the van.

And I quietly died of shame.

Comments

Mir

I have died that death a hundred times over. It puts hair on your chest.

Um, not ACTUAL hair. I do not have hair on my chest. I just have a lot of gray hair.

Um, nevermind. Love you!

Jen

Oh yes. I know that one well. Sending you lots of sympathetic hugs!

CJ

I also love to bake and cannot stand baking with my kids. And pregnancy sucks up all the patience I have worked to acquire over the past ten years. Much sympathy!

Em

You know, it's just when I start to gain momentum on my grump (especially over my kids and all of the things they NEED! All the time! From ME!) that they will do something extra sweet that just make me feel like a donkey for ever being tired of doing things for them. It must be some kind of survival mechanism.

Clay

Take pride in kowing that the boys had no idea what you were thinking or feeling. You are the best.

Loth

I think deep down most of us are that woman. I know I am. As long as the children don't figure that out until they are much older, they'll be fine. And grey hair is stylish, so there.

Renee

It's not a shameful thing to admit. I love your honesty.

Jill W.

I agree- it's not shameful. I don't so much mind baking with mine, but Lord I HATE putting her to bed. I think it is supposed to be this special cuddly time with your preschooler, but it is not. It is such a struggle to get her settled and then to sleep. Honestly, I dread it. But every once in a while, it is wonderful and cuddly and she makes up a sweet prayer thanking God for "the pears because they are SO delicious" and drifts off peacefully and I feel terrible for having felt that way.

Ha. Mine are all grown (well, my last one is almost 18 and a senior), and though I LOVE my kids with all my heart, I too was that WOMAN. ZERO patience in the kitchen to teach them how to cook. Just too messy. Your description of how it "ought" to be, like the Pillsbury commercials, made me laugh out loud.

So. My daughter is now 27, with two little ones of her own. SHE loves to cook and bake (I do not, on the other hand), and SHE lets her little ones help out in the kitchen, making cookies and such, frosting them, and so on. THEY even have little chef hats. She did NOT get that from me, bad mother that I am. But I'm so tickled that she IS that kind of mom.

And I have a head full of salt and pepper hair that I get comments on all the time. Gray is the new blonde . . .

JenM

Boy, do I know what that's like. "Excuse me - I'll just go crawl under the stove, now." Of course, now that I'm a mother I have complete sympathy for all the times my own mom felt that way. :) Hopefully my children will someday look at me similarly.

Alison

But you did it. Queasy, hating it...you did it, and they loved it.

I totally sympathise, and have given up baking with mine, esp as one of them is all boundless enthusiasm until he gets sticky cake or cookie mixture on his hands, at which point he has hysterics.

We do make pizzas together, (I have to do the dough), and even that makes me grit my teeth in a way that isn't healthy.

Karate Mom

My daughter is 8 and we are just now getting to where I'm OK with having her help me with things in the kitchen because she can actually follow directions...well...most of the time. Plus I figure that I really need to teach her the basics of cooking before she's a teenager and while she can still stand to be around me!
Now, picnics are another thing! I cannot STAND going on picnics!! I should write a post about that...

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