Self-discovery through parenting. And cookies.

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Well, I’d still love to have an awesome, regularly-updated website. That endeavour is sitting on a back burner, as our time and energy are all earmarked for other stuff for a while.

In my mind I have an enormous stovetop with quite a lot of burners, especially at the back.

In keeping with the cooking theme so neatly thus established, earlier this week I made and decorated some cookies with G. She’s now old enough to actually work against entropy for appreciable periods, meaning that a mess is no longer her sole contribution to an activity. With some help, she rolled dough, cut shapes, and arranged cookies on the sheet. After supper, she decorated her cookies and I decorated some I’d made earlier.

Yesterday morning I let G choose one of her cookies to take with her. She changed her mind on the way out the gate and wanted a circle-shaped one instead of a trapezoid. F ducked inside and came out with a circle – one that I’d made. I remarked that I’d hoped he’d bring one she’d decorated herself.

F replied (becoming quieter near the end of the sentence) that he’d thought that was one of the ones she’d decorated.

I inspected the remaining cookies once they’d left (after taking a couple of bites of one for sustenance).

Sugar cookies on a plate on the ground.

It’s pretty obvious which ones are the three-year-old’s, no?

What do you mean, no?

Well, I helped her with the diamond at 12 o’clock. And OK, the one at two o’clock is ambiguous, as is the partially-consumed one at 7 o’clock. However, I invite the reader to inspect more closely and to discover that one of the two is iced on the front side, while the other is iced on the back. And now it dawns upon me that in that, I have pinpointed the exact border* between the skill and care I apply to cookie-decorating and the skill and care applied by my three-year-old child.

We were both more interested in eating the icing than applying it in elaborate patterns. The main difference was that in my maturity, I wanted to eat the icing on the cookies.

I had expected a stronger innate difference in our sense of order, or in our manual dexterity, than was actually manifested. But the motivation showed through in the product, for both of us. I’m simultaneously a little ashamed that I’d publicly post a photo of cookies that I made that look as though they were decorated by a preschooler, and proud that G and I are beginning to have more things in common.

The cookies were delicious. I used this recipe for sugar cookies, and included the almond extract. The recipe doesn’t use baking soda or baking powder, which is a plus for me, and it’s not overwhelmingly sweet like the previous recipe I tried. I didn’t refrigerate, because I didn’t care much about keeping the shape (hey, if you’re going to do it half-assed, do it half-assed all the way, that’s apparently my motto).

*Nerdy aside: do I savour the clash of zero- and one-dimensional metaphors, or rewrite to resolve the awkwardness? Time constraints. Savour it is.