The other day I thought it would be fun for my 3-year-old son to get in the holiday spirit with a new mother/son tradition: building a gingerbread house. When we went to buy the kit, the woman in the checkout line asked my son, “Are you going to help your mommy build this?” He looked alarmed and said, “No, we need to wait for my dad to get home. Mommy ruins things.”
He was right. I just can’t seem to do the simplest things when it comes to baking. I made my husband a *boxed* cake the first year we were married and it was a brick. Apparently I forgot to add one of three ingredients.
A couple months ago, we decided to make themed cookies for a pirate party at our friends’ house. My nanny had successfully baked a batch earlier in the week with the kit, so it seemed easy enough. I followed the directions perfectly this time—believe me, my husband checked—and the dough was not, well…dough. It was a huge bowl of crumbly mess. Since time was running out, we broke down and ran to buy pre-made dough. We used our pirate ship, hook, parrot and other fun cookie cutters and put the cookies in the oven. When I took them out, they were a bunch of misshapen blobs. After hours of failed attempts, I lost it. I used the spatula a bit too forcefully and flung the half-cooked blobs across the counter. Not my finest moment.
I’d love to say that’s the only example of my ineptness, but it’s not.
Well, I wasn’t going to let the gingerbread house defeat me. It wasn’t really baking. I just had to mix the icing. Easy enough, right? Nope. Too thick. After thinning it out, I was holding two of the sides together long enough for the icing to dry. When I finally let go, one of them went crashing to the floor and broke into a bunch of pieces. My son just rolled his eyes—yes, he’s already doing it at 3-years old. We trashed the fancy kit, got out the good old-fashioned graham crackers and vanilla frosting and made it happen. I tried to handle it a bit more gracefully saying we all make mistakes and we just have to get creative to find solutions. Undoubtedly it was a better lesson than flinging the pieces across the table, but I’m not sure it really mattered at that point.
Once he finished decorating, I asked, “Wasn’t it fun making a gingerbread house?” “Not really.” At least he was honest. Next time I’ll leave the fun to Daddy.
Originally posted on YodelingMamas.com