Toddler Dinners: No Baking Way

bakingI have a bit different post for you today about the wonderful world of Toddler Dinners. Usually I am trying to talk about an issue and how to fix it but sometimes, it ain’t worth fixing. Sometimes you just have to throw your hands up and say “enough! Just forget it!”.

Today’s guest poster, Alicia (remember her?), is talking about those Martha Stewart moments of baking with your kid…and how they aren’t her reality with 3 young girls.  She brings her usual hilarity of life full of estrogen and not enough wine.  Be sure to read more of her side splitting tales over at Life with Ladies.

SIDEBAR: If you are interested in guest posting for Toddler Dinners in the coming months, feel free to contact me. I know there are topics I can’t cover due to lack of knowledge but want to help everyone out! Also? Newborn.

Oh hi there!

Remember me? The BiFF?

While I’m busy up here in Canada, mourning the fact that there’s a newborn Dolphin in the world that I cannot yet snuggle (can I get a whomp-whomp for geography?) , I thought I would drop some honesty on y’all. Ready?

I hate baking with my kids.

Hate it.

Let me paint this picture for you- I have three daughters, aged 6, 4 & 2. I’m sure that their ideas of “helping” would look positively adorable in any magazine spread or campaign. Blonde haired beauties, all full of smiles, hands dirty, cute little aprons, a light dusting of flour coats the counters…positively picturesque! Except? For the red-haired Mommy in the corner losing her shit that “OMG, why are they such animals?!”

I’m not normally a type-A girl. I’m pretty fly by the seat of my pants, I don’t care about mess very much because it’s temporary. I understand the time-honoured treasures built in the kitchen with your children and would love it if my anxious brain could calm down enough to enjoy it. But instead, I live in the reality that my kitchen is a total mess (which I will have to clean), they’ve probably wasted 17 different pantry staples (which I paid for), they’re fighting over turns to stir the bowl (which I will have to break up…eight times), and they will get bored and give up halfway through (which I will have to finish). Before we even start, I know the end result will be all hell breaking loose and why would I do that to myself?

I make my memories with them elsewhere- in the garden, in the pool, at the market. I will let them dig holes in dirt and spread mulch as far as the eye can see. We learn about bugs and vegetables and pared-down versions of photosynthesis in the backyard and it fills my Mommy heart. Most of my baking is done at night when the kids are already in bed…it’s like therapy for me. I can feel like I’m doing something great for my family (“Mommy made cookies!”…even though she eats half of them before you wake…) while fulfilling my need for alone time with a task.  Maybe I don’t have pretty, pretty pictures of the four of us poised around a bowl of macaroons, giggling to each other with twinkly eyes. Maybe it’s taken me years to just admit to myself that baking with my girls is something I won’t be happy doing until they can calm the shit down and follow a recipe without a Fight Club breaking out. That’s ok.

And besides- if they just step away from the cookies, we will all get to eat the cookies. Everyone wins.

Be sure to check out more of Alicia over at Life With Ladies.

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3 thoughts on “Toddler Dinners: No Baking Way

  • August 6, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    Oh god. I have all these awesome mental images of baking with H (who is only 5 months old now) when he is big enough…something tells me they’ll be dashed to the ground the very first attempt. I am now seeing my kitchen covered in flour and a tiny H covered in cookie dough and/or food coloring. Maybe hubby will clean up the future mess?

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  • August 7, 2012 at 9:52 am

    I not only bake with my kids, but cook with them. Of course I did it the easy way (1 kid at a time 12 years apart). My son is now 16 and can cook almost every dish that is served in our home. We started letting/making him help in the kitchen when he was 3 years old. Now each night as dinner is being prepared he is right there helping. We use dinner prep as family bonding time.

    My daughter is 4 and she helps with stiring things, pouring things into bowls and setting the table. As she grows she to will learn how to make all of her favorite foods.

    I had to laugh at your post because last week my son thought it would be fun to let his sister help him bake cookies. It was a mess but they both had fun. He said NEVER again can she help if I am not helping.

    I could not imagine doing this with 3 kids who are all near the same age though.


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