’Tis the season of baking, visiting, shopping, and decorating. What will soon follow is the season of gift opening, eating, snoozing after turkey, and revelling to ring in the New Year.
One season is rather hectic, the here and now. The next is the R&R time to recover from this pre-Christmas/New Year’s insanity.
One night last week, a nephew called to see if he could drop off his brother for a couple of hours at our house that evening. Next thing I know, we’ve got another nephew and his mom popping by for dinner … and baking.
The idea was to have the three kids help out, but they were off giggling and playing Minecraft, while the ladies – my wife and her sister – prepared to bake.
The women decided to proceed with minimal assistance from the kids. They figured everything would be done that much more quickly.
Who can fault their thinking? I’m a firm believer in the saying that many hands make light work, but that notion is null and void if four or more of the hands belong to kids. One child’s assistance is fine, but when you add to that tally, good luck keeping anyone on assignment. Inevitably, one child behaves as a distracting squirrel, while the others forget what they’re doing and are helpless to do anything but track that squirrel.
And then there was me. I was in a post-dinner daze flipping between college and NFL football and, aside from doing the dinner dishes, was useless to assist. Besides, I would have been the proverbial bull in the china shop if they’d tasked me to help out in the land of cupcakes and cookies. About the only thing I bake is pizza.
The kids flew upstairs at one point to offer their assistance, but a few short minutes later, they retreated to their lair, tasked with unwrapping Hershey’s kisses in large numbers. The Kisses were to be plopped on a dollop of cookie dough.
I’m honestly not sure how many of the unwrapped Kisses made it back upstairs in the bowl compared to how many somehow landed inside the kids’ stomachs. But they were out of the ladies’ hair (mine too), and have evolved to the point that the only evidence they’d occupied the man cave was a couple of foil wrappers and a strip or two of Hershey Kisses paper ribbon that fell under the coffee table.
By the end of the evening, there were cupcakes and cookies covering the kitchen table, kids with full bellies (adults too) and a good deal of laughter.
As one nephew finished sprinkling a few red sparkles onto a cupcake, declining to dress up another for his parents, he told his aunts he’d love to come over the next time they were baking.
“I love to bake and love to decorate stuff,” he said.
I nearly fell over laughing.