Toddler+Baking=NO or how I almost lost my sanity

We have so much to tell you as we’ve been absent for a while, but as usual, life’s been busy, and we’re just tired. Sorry blog, you’re just so much more effort than YouTube. But, tonight, I have a need to write as a memorial to myself. Dear future self, do not, I repeat DO NOT attempt to bake cookies while the toddler is awake when no one over the age of 11 is available to take charge of said toddler. Bake them during nap, go buy some Oreos, but for the love, DO NOT attempt to bake cookies with the toddler.

Before our story begins, you need some background. You need to know that Emma has been in town but staying at the church since Sunday for a mission trip. Bryan has been spending his 9-5 working (sometimes from home) and his 5pm-8am at the church helping with the mission trip and helping Emma avoid the sadness of being away from everyone for 6 nights. Because food is love at our house, I readily, but perhaps somewhat foolishly, agreed to bake some cookies for the kids. I agreed on Sunday to have them there Tuesday night as they wanted baked goods to go in the kids’ lunches. Monday, we went to the library and grocery shopping. Hannah spent most of the rest of the day doing school because school is much harder to do by yourself than if your other sibling is suffering with you. Today, we had a meet-up at the park with our homeschool group. We came home. Bryan came home for lunch, too, so I made an elaborate pasta bar lunch (because food is love). Then, Micah went down for nap, and Hannah started school again. All of these things and being responsible for the whole dinner/evening routine with the kiddos means that I completely spaced the cookies until about 5:30 pm which is the true beginning of our story. So, I realize my mistake and think, “Well, this won’t be a big deal because I found a bag of frozen chicken nuggets in the freezer, and I can just mix up the cookies while I make an easy dinner of frozen nuggets, boxed potatoes, and frozen veggies.” The oven is preheated, so I stick in the nuggets while I try valiantly to mix the cookies and not have this irritating song stuck in my head. Meanwhile, the kitchen is kind of a mess because I’m not used to having Bryan and Emma gone and every night I have great intentions but no actual energy to do much of anything, so I press Hannah into service putting away food items while I begin mixing. Micah decided to pull up a stool and try to get into the sugar. I finish with the sugar and put that away. I ask Hannah to put away the eggs after I finish with those. Micah manages to get a grip on those and try to wrench them away from Hannah. I stop those shenanigans, then while I continue mixing and gathering ingredients, I turn to see Micah grabbing handfuls of flour from the bag for consumption. I remove the bag from his reach and dole out the rest of the ingredients between Hannah and I. Hannah finds out that even though 3 tsp = 1 Tbsp, the tablespoon doesn’t fit very well in the cream of tartar container and causes a lot of spillage. We forget the baking soda, but even though I’m baffled by the cookies not terrible but not quite right appearance this will not occur to me until the last pan is in the oven. Dinner is almost done, I have Hannah start to make the veggies. Veggies go in the microwave as I mix the potatoes and take out the nuggets. I adjust the oven temp, we set the table and get ready to eat.

After a dinner, I start panning cookies to bake. While I’m getting the first pan in, Micah has popped down from his seat and is making a noise, that noise, while he’s wearing underwear. Super, it’s #2. Hannah is awesome, and starts helping him get cleaned up while I finish getting that pan ready. I go and get him all wiped. We wash our hands surgical style, and get back to work. I have Hannah start loading the dishwasher while I get pan #2 ready to go. Micah tries to climb up where I’m working. I say “no” for what feels like the millionth time that night because I don’t want him near the hot pans that will be coming out momentarily. So, he finds a mop that Bryan had bought for downstairs to help get rid of construction dust, and he begins swinging it above his shoulders. Once he’s distracted, I instruct Hannah to take the mop downstairs where it belongs. She hesitates too long and Micah corners her. After a brief struggle where she tries to convince him he cannot go downstairs with her, I just tell her to throw it through the pet door (our downstairs storage room has a pet door that was used by a previous owner, I think for cat box purposes). She throws the mop down. I ask her to keep cleaning up, and start another pan of cookies. By this time, I see that the cookies aren’t quite right, but I’m fairly certain it is just too much flour. Micah tries climbing up again. I tell him “no” again. I suggest that he go and drink his milk. He does this. Sometime between pans 3 and 4, he comes over again, and has a potty accident. This Hannah handles on her own, bless her, so I can get these cookies done before the mission trip is done. After getting fresh pants once again, Micah decides that he needs another stick to wave around and heads for the broom. I finally do what I should have done earlier and send them both upstairs to play with toys. Once I get the last pan in, I work on bagging the cookies for lunches. Then, it occurs to me. I didn’t use baking soda. In a testament to the grace of God, I didn’t just start weeping hysterically right then and there. Instead, I have the kids taste test the cookies. They approve, so I decide to let it roll, and send Hannah to the shower to get ready for bed so that once we return home, we can just put everyone to bed. When the final pan comes out, I bathe Micah and get him ready. Then, we load up and head to the church. Unfortunately, Emma is bowling, so we don’t get to see her or Bryan, but we drop off our testament of love and head for home again.

So in conclusion, food=love, toddler+baking=no, and without Hannah I may have gone completely off the edge.

How do you cook with small people around?

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