But I sometimes have to laugh at our ever-hopeful perfectionism and the temptation to display a flawless online image of life. Whenever people tell me how much they love my posts, or we hit it off on Facebook, I secretly wonder if they'd think I'm half as cool in real life. Because the truth is, its kind of easy to make your life look ideal on a blog.
As I search through recipes, homeschooling ideas, etc., I often end up on some mom's blog reading some awesome new thing she cooked or did with her kids. The funny thing is, its often something cool she's done for the very first time and is vowing to do more of in the future. (Like, photos of kids in matching p.j.s loading up their oatmeal from a huge spread of various toppings, saying something like "I just think its so important to provide healthy, fun options for breakfast! I think this is the beginning of a new tradition!") It'd be cooler if we would post about the things we've been doing for, like... a year. Sustainable ideas, ya know?
So my confession with these adorable pictures is this: I do not always cook with my three year old. I don't even often cook with her. In fact, on this particular day, I was just flat worn out with her. She has spoiled me with her uncanny ability to entertain herself for long periods of time so on the rare days that she gets demanding and needy, I get flustered. I had hoped to make breadsticks while she was sleeping, but she woke early. So I put on a movie; she wasn't interested. She wanted only to be glued to my side, under my feet, in my face the entire time.
Finally, I realized my best option was to just include her. That was all she wanted, anyways. It may slow down the breadmaking process but at least I could just make peace with the sweet reality that my toddler wanted to be with me instead of watching Lion King. So I steeled myself in preparation for the bigger mess it would make and asked if she wanted to help. And of course, she did.
The funny thing is I enjoyed myself. Immensely, actually. My frustration and OCDness just slowly melted away as I watched her downcast, flour-covered eyelashes focusing on rolling dough into a ball. My schedule didn't feel so tight; the mess didn't seem so big. Who cared if I had to sacrifice a big hunk of dough for her to play with? The recipe yielded three dozen stinkin' breadsticks, anyways. Turned out, the remedy for feeling annoyed with my daughter was hanging out with my daughter.
So when I post these charming photos of mommy-daughter baking, know that I'm not trying to act like we do this all the time. I felt like I couldn't even share them without sharing my humbling lesson behind the sweetness. I really do delight in my little girl and love to be around her; that's not fake. And its not a front that I cook from scratch or keep a clean house or lots of other things that I post about... but maybe I should also share that sometimes I snap at my sweet girl and have to apologize, sometimes laundry piles up, sometimes we eat popcorn and cheese for dinner. Those things are for real, too.
But thankfully, today turned out right-side-up when I let my toddler help me cook. I want to do better in letting her help me. And seriously... who could resist a sous chef like this?
|punching down the dough, I love this one.|