Ever since my daughter was born, I've had these daydreams of the two of us baking scrumptious treats together, testing out new recipes and laughing together over chocolate chip cookies. I quickly discovered what baking with kids is really like, after my first (and second) attempt at doing so with my daughter. In case you haven't tried it out for yourself yet, I'll save you the trouble: It's an epic disaster of messes, improper ingredient measurements and later, your kid's boredom and eventual abandonment that would test the patiences of the saintliest saint.
All of which, you know, is awesome for some parents. Not so much for me. I love my kids, but I'm also a perfectionist. To me, that is what baking is kind of all about. Baking is specifically measured science. Doing anything with kids, on the other hand...not so much about perfection. Cooking and I have been on the outs for a while now, but baking was my first love, and it's tragic to have to wait until after bedtime to attempt anything elaborate.
Oh, and anything elaborate is most likely going to be just for my partner and I to eat. My daughter will try whatever it is that we've made together, filled with excitement, and then never want to touch it again. It's enough to drive a gal who loves to bake to the brink of insanity. Here are 10 other struggles those of us who love baking have:
You Can't Take Your Eyes Off Your Kid, Even More A Minute
Seriously, you just can't. You never know what they're going to toss into the bowl. And you don't want your first bite to be the moment you find out.
No, no, sweetie. We need just a little bit more flour...NO NO NO TOO MUCH!"
Trying (And Failing) To Cater To Your Kid's Tastes
I have lost count of the number of muffins and granola bars and cupcakes I've made with my daughter in mind, that she has ultimately spit out or thrown away.
Trying (And Failing) To Keep Things Healthy
Can anyone tell me why canned icing would appeal so much more to a kid than homemade buttercream, made with organic milk and butter?
Listen, I'm not all frustration when I bake with the kids. It's adorable seeing my daughter measuring ingredients out (or holding the measuring spoon while I pour the ingredient into it), but kids kind of suck at balance. So, you know, spills...just...everywhere.
Using The Electric Mixer
If you have a stand mixer, I hate you just a little bit right now. It would solve a lot of my problems, including the one where my daughter gets distracted and lifts it up while it's still on.
Getting Bored During The Mixing Process
I guarantee your kid will abandon you for a toy or a TV show.
Licking The Spoon Too Soon
How many spoons end up getting washed by the end of a baking escapade? Too many, thanks to a certain someone's need to taste test along the way. (And sometimes my daughter grabs the spoon and licks it, too.)
Getting Distracted Right When You Need To Get Something Out Of The Oven
All it can take is 30 seconds too long and BAM! Burnt on the bottom.
Trying The Finished Product Before It's Cooled Off
You know how it goes: Your kid is SO. EXCITED. to try their creation that they can't wait for it to fully cool off. Then they try it, burn their tongue, and never want to eat that creation again. It's OK — you'll be trying something new before long anyway.