Saturday, September 27, 2008

Baking with Toddlers and other Near-Death Experiences / September 27, 2008

How could I not write about yesterday? Even though the whole day wasn't harrowing, the part with the cake was so wretched, it did taint the entire day.
Our friends the Rhodes are moving on Monday. Yesterday, we had a goodbye party for them at the Commons, a simple enough party, and yet, enough to make me stress about it. Then again, I stress over anything. Yesterday morning, Benji took a 2 hour morning nap, generally unheard of because we are usually out and about and so he just doesn't sleep that long. After he woke up, Ethan, Benji, and I went over the Rhodes to help clean. Jacob was gone, so Ethan watched Elmo on some Sesame Street game. I threw things away and did minor cleaning and generally felt useless. Jessica said I wasn't useless.
Then we went  home for lunch. Benji was super sleepy again at that point, so I had to go put him down for a nap. What was I to do with Ethan in the meantime? More tv! What else was I to do? I had no trouble getting Benji down, and I left him sleeping soundly.
Then it was time to start the cake for the party. I asked Ethan if he wanted to help me, even though I knew he wouldn't be helpful and that it would make me come close to heart failure. But I want him to learn that helping is good. I let him help dump the cake mix into the bowl. A minor amount of the dust flew out onto the kitchen floor. Then he held the measuring cup while I poured oil into it. With my help, almost all the oil made it into the bowl. Then it was egg time. I cracked the eggs, with Ethan repeating his new favorite phrase,
"No, I do it, Mommy!"
I stepped over to the trash can to throw away the egg shells, and when I turned back, Ethan had hold of the  cup with the raw eggs in it. Sensing impending disaster, I grabbed the bottom of the cup just in time, and the eggs slid into the bowl. I breathed a sigh of relief.
The rest of the cake made it into the pan, and I put it in the oven.
After naps, from which Ethan woke up way to early and cried after for 20 minutes, it was time to ice the cake. It was 4:25; only 35 minutes till Chad came home. I was eagerly watching the clock. Ethan stood on his chair, and I gave him a small spatula. I opened the container of icing (what, did you think I was going to make it from scratch????). We began icing the cake with minimal problems when the phone rang. I ran upstairs to get it while Ethan stabbed the cake repeatedly with the spatula, creating a large hole. After resisting the urge to bang my head against the wall, I was able to repair the hole and cover it up with extra icing.
When we were done icing the cake, I told Ethan he could lick the icing off the spatula. He licked the spatula, but kept watching me open up the sprinkles, and when he did so, the spatula slowly came too close to the cake, and I kept having to say, "Ethan, don't let your spatula touch the cake." That happened about 4 times. Once, he said, "I'm done," and started to put the spatula back on the cake! Luckily, I stopped it.
I looked at the clock: 4:30. How could only 5 minutes have passed??
We started to put the sprinkles on the cake. I let Ethan pick up some of them to sprinkle over the cake. Of course, they all landed in one spot on the cake. Great.
Then it was time to write "We'll miss you, Rhodes" on the cake with icing. I got out my squeezable icing containers and opened the blue one. I began the "W," only to find out that it wasn't icing; it was food coloring! Now, we had a large blue dot on the cake. I blinked back a tear and looked at the clock again. Four more minutes had passed. I scraped the blue dot off the cake, put new white icing over the spot, and blended it in. It looked much better.
But how would I write the words with icing? Ever the resourceful goddess of the kitchen, I put the icing in a bag, cut a hole in the bag, and squeezed out the icing. The writing looked a bit ghetto, but that's okay. Now it was complete. I sent Ethan out of the kitchen, and got some plastic wrap to put over the cake. But, alas, before I could get it tight around the pan, its lightweight film drooped in the middle and stuck to some of the letters. I cursed the day that plastic wrap was invented and made a wish that God would wipe it off the face of the earth in a large fire.
I threw the plastic wrap away and used foil instead.
In the grand scheme of things, it was one afternoon and one cake (that turned out fine and even tasted good). As to why the day's mishaps were harder for me to handle, I don't know. Stress because the school year has officially started and that means I'm on my own more with two squirrelly children? Likely.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, I did survive until Chad made it home at 5:00.


Shane said...

You should have a thought of the day... like a deep in your own words not some philosopher kinda junky way. My sister has 3 kids and lives in Italy. She goes through stuff just like you. Sometimes she feels like she's the only one who goes through stuff like this (in your article) but apparently not. I think its comforting/relieving knowing your not the only one... you know what they say, "safety(sanity) in numbers."

Rachel said...

I must admit that you are more brave than I. I haven't let Joshua help me with anything in the kitchen yet. I do let him watch occasionally.I'm glad you announced your blog.

Brooke said...

Those last few minutes before dad comes home always last an eternity. BTW, the cake was sooo good.

michellep said...

I'm still amazed the writing turned out so well! The plastic bag was so resourceful. And Brooke was right, the cake was delicious!

Shonda said...

Sounds like an adventure. At least it turned out to be a tastey one, and noe you have a fabulous story to tell Ethan about when he is older.

Miss you. Love, Shonda