Baking with kids! So much fun, at least from what I see when perusing Pinterest in an effort to confirm the ways that I have failed as a parent. And I’ve done it too, and it’s totally gone just how it seems to go for the moms I see bathed in “Angels Singing” filter on Instagram. I promise that none of the following things happened, especially not repeatedly, during the times I have drunk enough coffee to make me think that baking is a perfect activity for the afternoon.
1. “No, we’re making the recipe with five steps, not ten.”
What sort of heartless she-beast would Google “easy cookie recipes” and not “cookie recipes that will make children’s hearts overflow with delight?” And really, why do they even have recipes titled “super easy and fast 4 ingredient cookies”? Please. Let me click over to the rainbow layered Elsa cookies that require three weeks of prep work, because I love my kids.
2. “Mommy already got all the stuff out.”
Half the fun is finding the right mixing bowl, getting the sprinkles off the shelf, and getting out the right spoons. Only a mother with a soul of ice would get everything out in advance, during naptime possibly, in order to prevent sticky hands all over her other bowls and silverware and a kid accidentally pulling out the vanilla bottle and breaking it on the floor for the dog to lap up.
3. “No, we don’t need to include your sister, she’s asleep.”
Woman, wait till all your kids are around or don’t do it at all. You know that equality among siblings is paramount, even more important than keeping your sanity in check and allowing only two of the three kids to participate in a stressful, I mean, wonderful, family activity.
4. “I’ll do the pouring, you have the super important job of turning on the stand mixer.”
Come on, do you even deserve to have kids if you don’t allow them to try and laughingly fail at getting even one teaspoon of flour into the bowl and instead getting it all over their clothes, your clothes, the floor, and, somehow, your 5-month-old in his highchair? And let’s not even talk about the Type A controlling shrews that make the entire ball of dough in advance and divide it among the children, not even allowing them to participate in the mixing process at all. What do you mean, how do I even know that people do that?
5. “There’s your ball. Yes, it’s big enough.”
A real mom would allow her children access to the entire bolus of dough, rather than a handful to shape into two cookies. This paragon of motherhood would not give a single rat’s ass that this means that the entire batch of cookies will look deformed and unappetizing, denying you the ability to post even one attractive picture on Instagram or “casually” sharing some delicious-looking cookies in cute containers with neighbors who have previously given you cookies that don’t look like roadkill.
6. “Oh my God, you’ll get salmonella if you do that.”
Moms who adore their children allow them to take a bite (or two!) of raw cookie dough, because something like 43% of humans encode this as a positive childhood memory that can buffer them from the effects of seeing Mommy cry when Daddy calls to say that he’ll be home too late tonight to help you clean up the mess that the kitchen has somehow become even though you only let your kid touch one cookie once with one finger.
7. “Shoot, I don’t have any icing or anything.”
With all the times you’ve gone to the grocery store and thought, “Boy, I should really have some icing on hand for the day when I get the balls to try and make cookies with them,” do you mean to say that you neglected or forgot to buy it every single time? Turn in your motherhood card immediately if this has ever happened to you. That is NOT my card on top of the pile.
8. “OH MY GOD I forgot the damn cookies!”
What sort of parenting deviant goes to a different floor of the house when the cookies are in the oven, without even remembering to set a timer, because of the inane logic that, “We put them in at 4:00 even, that’s easy to remember, I’ll just check them at 4:15”? Probably the same fool who forgot what she even went upstairs for and ended up scrubbing noncommittally at the disgusting sink with a piece of toilet paper and hand soap instead of a sponge and Comet, because those are stored all the way in the cabinet 12 inches to your left.
9. “These look awful.”
Every mom knows that the first rule of parenting is, “Always make lemonade out of a lemon!” Well, what if the lemon is a moldy, rotting POS? I mean, hypothetically. On the positive side, your kids needed something else to talk about in therapy one day.
10. “Why don’t we just have these Chips Ahoy?”
Alarm bells ringing everywhere! How many things can be wrong with one sentence!? Firstly, who even has junk food in the house? And who shows their children that giving up is OK? And who … Mmmph … Eats … Phmuph … Cookies right before dinner?!