Thursday, June 13, 2013

let them make cake


I'll be the first to admit, when it comes to anything artistic, I relinquish control about as easily as a rabid pit bull with a mouthful of tasty human flesh.

My first step in letting go began when I was teaching preschool back in 2006. I would hover anxiously, biting my nails as I observed the vomit-like playdough disaster that was supposed to be a dinosaur. I would repeat the mantra in my head: let them be messy, let them do what they like, this is them being creative. I'd get through about three rounds of that before I would shove aside the budding four-year-old artist and yell maniacally, "Here, let ME do it!!"

Yeah, I know. I have issues. 

Fast forward to the day when my own children begin to want to try things on their own. Can I paint, mom? Can I sew a stuffed monster? Can I make some cookies? 

Sure! I say with gritted teeth and the tingling in my kneecaps that indicates an oncoming attack of control-freakishness. Let it go, let it go, let it go...

The other day my oldest said, "I want to bake something." Okay, I replied, but let's plan it out: figure out what you want to make and we'll get the ingredients we need. He said he wanted to make a chocolate cake, with raspberry jam in between the layers and cream cheese frosting on top, decorated with fresh raspberries. (No joke. His exact words.) So today I took a deep breath, stepped back, and let him at it. 

Now I can't help it, I'm a homeschool mom so I like to take opportunities to teach even if it's not on a formal level. So I stood there while he made the cake and offered him advice and explained to him the reason why you do things the way you do when baking, but it was still all his work. The only thing I did was put them in the oven and pull them out. 

He was so meticulous spreading the frosting and arranging the raspberries.

creative license

In the end, there was a burning need to make bunny ears on the cake. Because creative and serious do not always (okay, pretty much never in this house) go hand in hand.


I can't say I'm 100% cured of my inability to not interfere, but I'm slowly getting better. I'm like, maybe 80% cured. Maybe. A solid 75% for sure. Yeah.

In the meantime, I'm proud of my kids for wanting to try things. And now I get to eat cake. 


Laura said...

He did a wonderful job! The cake is beautiful!

Rachel at Stitched in Color said...

Oh, definitely a win-win! I'm having trouble figuring out now if I want Aria to want to make cake or not... I think I would eat more of it than she would! Danger.