Baking has never been as much fun as it is with the assistance of two ambitious and intelligent toddlers. One will give the impression that they are eager to help in the manner carefully described by mommy while the other samples the batter. The sampling starts harmlessly enough. A little dip of the fingertip, then the whole finger, soon by the handful and if left unattended for more than 8 seconds, I'll surely find two delighted children, covered in cookie batter from the waist up.
Yesterday I made banana muffins. From the moment I measured the butter (the first ingredient), my mission was to protect the batter (well, butter) from curious fingers by racing around the house, the bowl under one arm, whipping and mixing with my wooden spoon in the other hand, stopping only briefly to measure and add the next ingredient, all the while being relentlessly pursued.
Finally, I had all the ingredients added and mixed. All that needed to be done was put the batter into muffin tins and deliver them to the sanctuary of the oven. I put the bowl of batter on the kitchen counter and turned my back on it only long enough to open a cupboard door, bend down and pick up two muffin tins. When I turned around, I discovered that if Ty stands on his toes, he can get his hand in the muffin batter all the way up to his elbow.
"I wuv mama muffins," he says between swallowing one fistful and cupping his hand for another dip, "Deeeee-lis-us!"
* * *
This morning, I opened the door to the kids' bedroom and was warmly welcomed with big smiles and a hearty stereophonic "Hi Mommy!" Ty reaches for his morning mommy hug and races out of the bedroom.
"I build a big rocket ship!" This proud exclamation I normally expect from Ty, but he's happily awaiting "mail" in my bedroom closet. Erin stands in front of me, beaming.
"Oh! Did you?" I respond, now noticing the open and empty top drawer of their dresser.
Did I say empty drawer. Make that drawers. And the closet it empty. Sippy cups, assorted toys, and every piece of clothing they both own is piled in a heap on Erin's bed.
"I build a big rocket ship!"
I'm rarely described as jovial first thing in the morning, and never before I've had breakfast and a coffee. Faced with a rather large project to content with before I can pry both my eyes open doesn't do much to improve my morning disposition. That being said, there's something uniquely disarming about a smiling toddler touting her creative achievements .
"Is it boo-tee-fol?"
"Yes sweetheart," I respond, smiling, "it's beautiful."
* * *
"Ty, how old are you right now?"
"And how old are you going to be on your birthday?"
"Erin, what would you like for your birthday?"
"Sure, you can have candles for your birthday. Ty, what would you like for your birthday?"
"Balloons and candles! That sounds like fun! You guys are getting so big, do you know what you want to be when you grow up?"
To which Erin quite seriously replies, "Bigger".