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Betty Crocker is a liar. Baking with children looks all fun and cozy in the adverts, but let’s be honest- baking with kids is just like sledding with kids. Currier & Ives and Betty Crocker are both peddlers of illusion. Packing little kids into their snowsuits and going out into a frozen world is an exercise in futility. And gloves on wiggly, glommy little fingers? Just like baking with little kids. Shoot me now. So. Baking…

Two of the kids need to bring cookies to school tomorrow. So we get to it when they tumble in the door from the bus. They have the attention span of gnats. It’s all fun in concept, but the actual measuring and the actual following of directions? I lost them before the first batch went in the oven. Perhaps had I taken them on separately…

Instead, we had flour flying everywhere when Jeff didn’t realize the mixer was on when he plugged it in- on high, of course. We had Abby drop eggshells in the mixer. We had boil-over when the microwave somehow got pushed for 2 minutes instead of 20 seconds to melt some butter. Just like in the commercial, right? So help me, I’m going to do a cooking show where I film what an ACTUAL 30-minutes in a harried mom’s kitchen looks like…

Then… Then as I was taking the first sheet of hot snickerdoodles (I love that word) out of the oven, juggling two more hot sheet-pans, I set one down on the edge of the counter. Picture, in slow motion, if you will, the sheet doing a cartwheel off the counter, hot cookies flying everywhere, and the pan landing, corner first, on my bare foot…

Cookies were everywhere. My foot was insulted, but fine. There were cookies, crumbled and steaming, in the crock pot, in a bag of un-put-away groceries, on the floor, on my pants, under the refrigerator… And I yelled. Much like the butter boiling in the microwave, I overflowed in a sailor-worthy streak that would have made grandpa Jack proud. It felt good to just throw an old fashioned temper tantrum. I threw the spatula across the kitchen, and it slid into the bathroom. There was giggling behind me.

I spun around, probably looking quite wild-eyed, and all three kids were standing in the doorway of the kitchen. They were trying not to laugh. Their eyes were mirthful and their shoulders were shaking, and were so enjoying my tantrum, and I was SO busted. Jeffrey quips, trying to hold in his giggles, “Boy, you really showed that spatula!” and the dam broke on the guffaws…

We stood in the kitchen laughing until our eyes were teary and our cheeks were red. Sometimes, when things totally go to crap, you end up with an awesome family memory anyway.

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