Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Baking with Tank

I must officially be a grown woman now, as I have been required to bring "a dozen cookies" to several Christmas parties. In fact, one invitation actually specified that they be fancy cookies. I've never made more than one or two kinds of cookies at a time, at least, not without my mom. So, in an effort to appease family and friends, I jumped into Christmas cookie mode in full force last night, and made 5 different kinds in 7 hours. Yeah, it was a late night.

I was reading a few weeks ago about having your child assist you with cookie-making as a learning activity. The suggested age range was 1 and up. I was like, "Really, one year olds can help make cookies?" So I thought I'd give it a try.
Ehhh, not so much. Jack couldn't even manage to keep his stocking'd feet on the chair so he could see the mixing bowl, much less assist in any manner. Maybe next year kiddo! So we had a modified baking day with Tank helping from the floor. And surprisingly, the arrangement was quite successful!

Do you know how long he sat and played on this blanket, quietly, BY HIMSELF?! Well, I don't know either. I lost track of time. But it was long enough for me to mix up two different recipes. After a while he got hungry and started trailing me around the kitchen and pulling on my pants (which, I might add, is a completely different scenario when you're wearing maternity pants!). So he sat and ate dinner while I mixed up another batch and started putting sheets in the oven.

Dinner time was over and would you believe it? He went into the living room and played by himself for a little while. Granted, he did throw half the toys down the stairs, and he did dig up some potting soil from the plant, but I'll take this over hold-baby-with-one-hand-mix-cookies-with-the-other any day.
After a while he got a little lonely and rejoined me in the kitchen, where I happened to leave the cupboard door open. That's when he pulled out all the pots and pans (and then sat in the saucepan, as you can see in the picture above). Baking cookies is slightly more challenging when you're tripping over skillets and babies, but not impossible. When that wasn't fun anymore he turned to one of his old favorites - throwing objects into the great abyss (a.k.a. the fake drawer below the sink).
He must think a fairy comes every night and rescues said objects from the dark, dark hole. Because the fact that they may be lost forever has not yet deterred him.
Now, I don't have a lot of counter-space in my kitchen, so I was cooling cookies on every flat inch I could find, including the table. Guess what that little stinker did while Mommy's back was turned. He reached up to the table, grabbed a cookie, and ran off to the living room where he gobbled it down. I was stunned. Did my little baby really just sneak a cookie off the table? How does he even know that cookies are good and that he really wants one? (Trust me, he knows now, as he had 4 more failed snitching attempts throughout the evening.) Seriously, sometimes I feel like I'm raising a miniature teenager.
The sad thing is, this mini-teen really is big enough to beat me up now. I have the bruises on my arm from a conch-shell-in-a-14-month-olds-hands to prove it. Where does the time go?!

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