Friday, July 22, 2005

How to (not) bake a cake

This morning I was supposed to be baking S’s birthday cake. The effort of making the icing, baking and decorating can be fun and long, long ago I used to earn a little money doing them for other people. Of course these days I don’t have the time unless it’s a friend who has the nerve to ask, but I look forward to the chance of wasting* time baking for my own children’s birthdays.

So today when I sorted out which baking tins would be best and started to prepare the ingredients, I was pleasantly surprised when my girls expressed an interest and asked to watch. I winced but held my tongue as they dragged chairs noisily over the kitchen floor; I sighed as they fought over who should be next to me; I smiled patiently when S blew the flour all over the worktop; I groaned when J dropped the eggs and burst into tears as they spread across the tiles; I berated J for trying to turn the oven on, without my permission, and only succeed in stinking up the kitchen with grill fat (don’t say it… I know I’m a messy cow who should wash the grill after every use!); and I mentally grimaced when the boys came in and stopped to watch what we were doing.

Within minutes irritation had clawed its way through my entire body. I couldn’t move. They were everywhere. Each picking up and waving utensils. Fighting over who should hold this and that, and who should stand where and do what. This used to be something I enjoyed. I told them to all take a step backwards and said I didn’t want such a large participating audience.

“There’s only four of us mom!” R said and pulled as face at my melodramatics.

What I wanted to scream was: ONLY A BLOODY FOOL WOULD CHOOSE TO HAVE FOUR (or more) KIDS! AND I NEVER MEANT TO BE SUCH A FOOL. I ONLY WANTED ONE, I SWEAR, IT WAS ALL A MISTAKE, YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE HERE! GO! LEAVE, ALL OF YOU!

What I said was: Four children would be considered quite a lot by some people, and although I wouldn't be without any of you, there are moments when I think I may have bitten off more than I can chew.

J started crying, and I can assume she would require a lot of therapy if I ever repeated my thoughts to her!

Once I apologised and dried J’s tears, I delegated tasks. The first was for S and J to get the baking parchment out, P was to find the scissors (carefully!) and a pencil, and R was to grease the tins. But we couldn’t even do that.

The baking parchment wasn’t in the drawer, or the tin cupboard. I realised it wasn’t going to be found when I saw the boys glance at one another and start moving out of the room!

Oh, I cornered them. I asked where my parchment had gone. ‘Dunno’ was R’s shrug, but P can’t look me in the eye and lie.

The little beasts have used it as tracing paper! Did they ask? NO! Did they think to mention they had finished the roll? Ha! They hid the freaking finished roll so I wouldn’t know they had taken it in the first place!

So no cake has been made, and yet my kitchen is a total tip, my patience is blown, and I have to head out to the shops again.

I want to be a good mom, I really, really, really do! But god, they don’t make it easy!!!!!




*wasting time because it’s almost as cheap to buy them these days and the children don’t much care what they taste like anyway.

4 Comments:

Blogger MarkD60 said...

I can visualize the whole thing....
Sorry you had such a rough time, but I thinnk if you were a fly on the wall watching, you'd laugh!

Friday, July 22, 2005 12:43:00 pm  
Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Well, yeah, but I like the taste of children, so send three of 'em my way. (You can keep one for "seed.")

(This is a visually funny piece, Debi. Thanks for sharing.)

Friday, July 22, 2005 4:33:00 pm  
Blogger Anduin said...

I've seen that scene in my kitchen with my niece and nephews. They're like ants, scattering all over the place. It's enough to drive you mad. My heart goes out to you for your love and patience for your children.

Saturday, July 23, 2005 4:09:00 am  
Blogger Douglas Hoffman said...

Next time, make up a bit of flour-and-water dough for them to sculpt with. If they're the type that think they HAVE TO BE HELPING with the actual production, make up some BS about how you'll cook these bits along with the cake, and they're very important to a proper rise, because they'll help get the humidity just right, and humidity is ever so important to heat transfer.

Confuse 'em with thermodynamics, that's what I say!

Saturday, July 23, 2005 4:10:00 am  

Post a Comment

<< Home