Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I Made Cookies

Every now and then I have to remind myself to be happy about the little things and not sweat the bigger things. Seems counterintuitive sometimes, but with two, sometimes three kids, there is not a whole lot of what a normal person would deem productivity that goes on in our house.

For example, the other day I got up early, even though I didn’t have Alex coming. I did some reading, had my coffee, wrote a blog entry, and in general woke up deliciously slowly. It was lovely and I knew the day would be a great one. As Brian left for work he mentioned that he would be stopping by the store for some cookies before his meeting in the evening because it was his turn to bring refreshments. Oh! I was all over this. "I’ll make some cookies for you!" Easy, thought Delusional Me. The nice morning was going to my head. We had to skip swim class because Cal can’t be in a pool after eye surgery, so the whole glorious day loomed ahead, full of promise and unscheduled bliss.
My only two goals for the day beyond getting the blog written were to clean the bathrooms and give the boys a reading lesson. Easy, right? Wrong. They woke up a little earlier than usual and I got them their milk and finished writing and posting the blog entry while they watched The Gruffalo, their second of two current obsessions, and snuggled in a blankie together on the couch. Then all the other morning things started rolling in. The oatmeal (with new sprinkles! So exciting that it takes longer than normal to pick the colors), the getting dressed, the sessions on the toilet, the reciting and acting out of The Gruffalo (complete with the boys’ British accents), the dishes from breakfast. Finally I told the boys we were going to make cookies for Dad to take to work. That may have been my first mistake. It lead down a slippery slope.

I got all the ingredients out, put the boys’s aprons on, my apron on, positioned the chair and stool for the boys to stand on. Sugar cookies don’t have a lot of ingredients so I let them each help with everything except for the eggs. As I held on to the mixer with a squirming little hand under mine, I wondered about when I would get to the bathrooms. Finally, after a bathroom break which involved quickly ripping off Clark’s apron, reapplying it, and some vigorous hand-washing, we were set to start again.
We finished the dough and put it in the fridge to chill. Apron break, bathroom break, I attempted damage control in the kitchen. I rolled and cut out most of the cookies, but I did let them help a little with their little rolling pins. It turned into more of a play-doh fest that kind of made me want to scream. All of the sudden it was something like 1:30 and I hadn’t given them lunch yet. So in between baking batches of Halloween-y shaped cookies, I got the boys lunch. Clark gagged because he didn’t like the consistency of his sausage and made himself puke all over the table, himself, and the floor. Time to clean up everything, put all affected fabrics in the laundry, put new clothes on crying boy. Groan at a morning that slipped away.

Now it was a race against the clock to get the stupid (and “easy”) cookies frosted and sprinkled before Brian came home to take them to his meeting. And what about the bathrooms? Grr. We ended up getting the cookies decorated in time to dry a little before they had to be packed up. I say we but it was mostly me because I put the boys in their room for a nap. I saved some cookies and they decorated them later that night. Brian came home and we spent half an hour with him. Clark ate some sausage with no more gagging problems. Brian packed up some cookies and headed out for his obligatory once-a-month evening meeting.

After sort of cleaning up the kitchen while the boys watched whatever was on PBS Kids, we headed outside for awhile. We took Gammy some Halloween cookies at her office and the boys and I reenacted The Gruffalo in the “deep dark woods” by Town Center. Then it was dinner and then cleanup. Clean the bathrooms? Do a reading lesson? Ha. I was disgruntled. The boys, in their jammies, took cookies to the neighbors, two young teachers, and flirted endlessly with them. They cleaned up their toys quickly and well because I narrated their actions and pretended they were Teddy and George, of the Nationals’ presidents. (this is the other of their current obsessions) So weird, but it worked so I love it.

My day hadn’t gone anything like what it was supposed to in my head. But. I had to readjust. Easy for me to say here, from two days out, right? I actually didn't feel to defeated at the end of the day.
Actually, I felt an odd sense of pride. I had made cookies. And damn it, they were cute and they were tasty. And the boys loved it.
Make cookies with these two? I dare you.

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