The Joys of Holiday Baking with Children

It’s the holiday season!! 

And while I know some people don’t love the gift buying/giving situation, I think the majority of people proudly say they love this time of year. I feel like most of us even claim fall as our favorite season. It always makes me chuckle when someone says, “Fall is my absolute favorite time of year!”, as if they have a lock on that sentiment. In my world, it’s everyone’s favorite. I do wish Florida would give us a few reds and yellows in addition to the balmy winds and dead sprinkling of leaves, but what can you do?

With this beautiful time of year comes an unavoidable tradition: Mass offerings (and consumption) of holiday treats. In response to all of these homemade goodies, I’ve discovered a new irrational fear:

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How to solve your fear of baking with small children: Call in Grammy.

Baking with small children.

Yikes.

I think most of the millenial mom group dreams of Pinterest-worthy bonding experiences (i.e. photo ops) where their child is wrapped in a too-long apron, standing safely on a chair, stirring batter with a wooden spoon in a Pyrex bowl passed down by a grandmother.

And if I’m standing in the kitchen and my son trots up and asks to help, I feel a tidal wave of guilt if I say no.

Oh, honey, wouldn’t you have more fun playing with some toys?

Um, Mama just wants to finish this up real quick…

OK, OK, you can help, but only with dumping in the chocolate chips! Don’t lick anything!

Eesh.

So, I find myself accompanied by little, sticky hands more often than naught.

I suppose I should be excited about this.

Yay! My kid wants to spend time with me! He won’t be completely inept in the kitchen when he goes to college!

But let’s be realistic. It’s a huge pain. And I’m always naively stunned by the things my almost 4-year-old does.

Wait! Why are you eating flour?

Oh! Stop! Don’t lick the spoon and put it back in! This is why people get sick! It’s because of people like you!

I don’t know if I can trust you with the glass measuring cup. Yup. Should’ve listened to my maternal instincts.

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This is when he discovered an odd fancy for all-purpose flour.

However, there are some sweet moments sprinkled throughout the heart-stopping terror of my kitchen being destroyed. One of my favorites is when my kiddo gets bored and wanders off. Oh! There’s that wave of mom-guilt again. My bad. He did wake me up at 3:50 a.m. this morning, so I’m feeling a little angsty.

Also, I realize I have no one to blame but myself and my ridiculous expectations. It’s the same when I let the kids play with Play-doh (or “play clay,” as my children adopted from the British Peppa Pig). I expect them to have the same OCD tendency to keep the colors separated. But why in the world do I assume they’ll keep the same high standard I keep? It’s absurd, really.

I do like having periodic, Pinterest-worthy moments where my kitchen, shirt, and child’s shirt end up covered in flour. It’s OK to need a few extra minutes to clean the kitchen. I can get a better perspective, and instead of rushing to get a cake in the oven, I can enjoy a few moments of teaching and fun with my preschooler. He won’t be a preschooler forever, after all, so it’s worth it. *heart emoji*

What holiday traditions do you enjoy passing on to your kids or grandkids?

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Dana says:

    I felt guilty over this for a long time. I felt like I should be including my little kids in the kitchen, when I actually hated it. My solution was this: once a kid turns six, they get to help make dinner once a week. They get to pick out the main dish and sides from an approved list (I also use it as a lesson on “vegetables are important!”) and help out making it. I figure six is a good age since they’re old enough to help read the recipe, start understanding measurements, be able to hold things and not drop them, etc. My son just turned 7, and it has worked well with him so far. I’m hoping in another year (when my daughter turns 6), he’ll be able to do it on his own for easy recipes. It has also helped so much with the guilt because I know that they’ll soon be having 50+ cooking lessons every year, even if it’s not right now. Maybe an idea like this could help you too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seemamaread says:

      Oh, I love that! It also equips kids with actual cooking skills instead of only “Can I lick the bowl?” memories.

      Like

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