Sunday, April 29, 2012

Cupcake Wars

I've been working on being more present to my children.  I've read stories individually, forced myself to stop working after 9:00 am to sit with my daughter and play whatever she wants until 10 and in the evening, to try and involve one or two with making dinner and let it be fun.  It's not always easy. I keep discovering all the ways in which I've tried to be efficient and as such, closed myself off.  Opening up those closed efficient ways is not painful, but it is an act of the will. With a triple birthday party in the works, it was very tempting to return to my ordinary ways.

To have enough cupcakes when one wanted strawberry, another chocolate and a third vanilla, meant four boxes of cake.  I made one of lemon just to add variety. We made 77 cupcakes in about 4 hours. But the issue was frosting.

Now my kids watch Cupcake Wars.  It's one of their favorites. 

So presentation mattered. It was like having Florian in the kitchen. 

"You should put butterflies."
"Flowers."
"Sprinkles."
"Strawberries."

But they also wanted to help.
So I told myself to let it happen.

I even walked away to let them be about the business of frosting. It was not easy.  Eventually it was my turn, and I got to show off my skills with the frosting tube.  But the strawberries with their acid started melting the frosting.  I could hear judge Candace Nelson explaining that I should have coated the cakes with more frosting to give a cushion between the cake and the berries.  The sprinkles didn't stick to the cake and I found myself pushing the jimmies into the white cream.  I'd be out before the first round.

But that was a minor skirmish.  One of my children, I suspect just to be contrary, does not like frosting. Not a lick.  Ergo, his cupcakes must be naked.  This was not his birthday, so I opted to only designate one or two that would fit his desires.  But of course, he took pink ones and this upset the girl whose party it is, and who wanted pink cupcakes. She felt her birthday allotment of joy was being infringed upon because she only had 16 cakes, not 18. The plain upon thars cake eater grinned in triumph.  Out in the second round too for presentation. 

How do you parent a child to stop wilfully seeking to tork off his sister when you're reduced to stop grinning evilly and don't take only your sister's cupcakes?  You distract and delegate to help move the volatile situation along.  "Go outside. Ride your bike."  or you divert. "Go play the wii."  or you delegate, "Have you finished your homework?" "Did you make your bed?" anything to come up with something either necessary or more enticing than the golden glow of seeing one's sister miserable.  I can see him thinking about it, but not making a move away. Sibling rivalry is hard. It is a shiny red apple, as compelling as sin. 

But since we had cupcakes, I handed him a chocolate and a vanilla. We'd made 77.  So what's two less?
 "Take these two. Now shoo."

The cupcakes survived the party survived and the siblings survived and I survived. I'm keeping a stash of unfrosted cupcakes in reserve for future distractions. I may create a display to represent the peace I'm seeking, a monument to the no fight zone I'd like to make my home.

Now where are my 10,000 dollars? 

1 comment:

Neen said...

That sounds like a fun time. I only wish you had pictures. That stuff can be so messy but also so bonding.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!