Monday, 31 October 2011

Cheerio and Peanut Butter Bars

Please note this was actually the entry for 30th Oct 2011 but for some reason, silly blogger didn't publish it!

I am so not cut out for motherhood.  When I get five seconds to myself, I indulge in my fantasy life which revolves around living in a Lakeland 'Summer Special' catalogue.  There, my daughter flits around a sun-dappled garden, her flowing hair beribboned and she's dressed immaculately.  We lunch in the garden feasting on freshly baked breads, homemade chutneys and gorgeous fruit confections.  The kind of life I imagine my neighbours live - I've never seen them or their children less than perfectly turned out.  They never nip to the car without their slippers or a full face of makeup.  Their houses are cleaner than most NHS wards (although that's not hard these days).

In reality, it's Sunday morning, she's wearing pyjamas covered in minestrone soup, her nose is constantly snotty.  The house looks like it's been looted by seventeen toddlers rather than one and the ironing basket is overflowing.  I'm the harassed, thirty-something full time working mother who alternately feels guilt at having to pay someone else to look after her child while she slaves to keep a roof over the family's head and then feels guilty at the weekend when she is filled with fear at the thought of spending 12 uninterrupted hours in the company of a three-foot-high Tasmanian devil.

I try, I really do.  My husband who looks after Miss A two days a week makes it look so easy.  I on the other hand - the one who is supposedly equipped to nurture and be the font of all knowledge on all things to do with childhood - fail at every turn.  There are tears, tantrums and hair pulling - that's just me.

I long to be the kind of mum whose child doesn't want to go exactly where they shouldn't be.  Who doesn't want to draw on the dogs and eats whatever is put in front of them (hence the wearing of the minestrone).

Of course, today was even worse.  The husband is out all day photographing a catwalk show at a Wedding Fayre.  There's an extra hour in the day.  So what to do? Baking.  It's something we both enjoy and I love the concentration she exudes when carefully transferring things from small boxes to the mixing bowl before stirring carefully and then plunging both hands in and stuffing her face with whatever's in the bowl.

Today was no exception.  The Cheerios were carefully counted - almost one by one.  The chocolate drops were added pinch by pinch.  The cherries unceremoniously dumped in in one go.  A quick stir then a tantrum whilst mummy took over to mix in the warm peanut butter flavoured caramel.  After cooling, we patted it into the baking tray and before I knew where she was, she'd turned the oven on, grabbed the oven gloves and stood, hands out waiting for the tray saying 'Mummy.  Cook.  Hot.'  So we put the oven onto the 'light-only' setting, she wore the gloves and put the tray in the oven.  Twenty minutes later, she returned and said 'Mummy.  Hot.  Cook.' before passing me the oven gloves to take it out for her.

My heart melted.  And these are the moments when it all seems worth it.  Those moments when you know she's learnt something just from you.  I love her to pieces, no matter how hard I find parenthood.

I don't, however, love the cheerio cakes.  You can feel your teeth rotting just looking at them.  But if you want the recipe, you can find it here.

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