Every time I bake I have to contend with my sous chefs. They try so hard but are unskilled in the art of measuring ingredients, whisking properly, and reading the box. I’m a lone wolf, an independent individual and when someone is in the kitchen trying to give me a hand I want to shove them aside and exclaim “I’ll do it. No REALLY, I’ll do it”. But these sous chefs are relentless and unless I give each of them an assigned roll they end up in huge brawling fist fights covered in boxed ingredients while screaming hysterically, “Me do it”. It gets very primal up in here when I bake.

Today I was hoping to avoid the usually fit from my sous chefs (which if you haven’t guessed by now are my children). I thought I was so smart. That was my first mistake, assuming I was a genius. My second mistake was trying to convince a four year old boy that it was his sister’s turn to bake and he would have to sit out. Next time it will be your turn, I promised. He did not believe me. As one can imagine that did not go over well. There was tears and angry mutterings and that was just from me.

When the inevitable melt down came with stealth hip checks and less than stealth slaps, I said something I vowed I would never say to my child. For one it’s a ridiculous response, for another I hated to hear it from my own parents.

“Grow up”.

What the hell is that supposed to mean? He’s four and has no grasp of time! Not to mention I know lots of “grownups” who are as far from grown up as you can get. The term “grow up” should be banned from the parental handbook. Growing up takes time; it’s won’t be achieved over boxed muffin mix.  Besides, it sounds so close to “grow op” that you might unknowingly encourage your child to become a prolific drug dealer. And no one wants that.

My son did eventually back off and let me bake with his sister. He even came over and encouraged her, “You’re doing amazing Edie”. I was less supportive… I stood there the whole time cringing when she insisted that she be allowed to do everything even crack the eggs (the horror of the rogue egg shell). She whisked all the ingredients together and I managed to ask only a few times if she needed my help. The muffins turned out beautifully and before the end of the night we’ll need to bake another batch. The sous chef wars continue.

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