No Cookie Dough Love

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I love making sugar cookies and I love my boys. But I do not love making sugar cookies with my boys.

That is one more activity I am going to add to my I-wish-I-had-the-patience-to-do-that-with-my-kids list.

I have tried a few times to make yummy treats with my little ones’ “help.” But it never happens the way I think it should. The way I daydream it will. I guess it’s too much to ask a 3 and 5 year old to whip out their Martha Stewart skills.

My sons have no sense of order. No sense of tidiness. And when it comes to making cookies I swear they think our kitchen has transformed into an evil scientist’s lab. Either that or a Playdoh making factory – especially when we get to the cooking cutting part.

Last Sunday I decided to make heart-shaped Valentine’s cookies with the boys. It was going to be a great reverent Sunday afternoon bonding experience.

Yeah right.

We hadn’t been cooking five minutes before the first splash of flour rained down on my recently mopped kitchen floor and the stress sunk in. Our reverent activity turned into a nagfest as I tried to control them as they dumped ingredients into the Kitchen-Aid bowl.

Things only got worse when we started rolling out dough. I turned my back for a split second and they shoved their hands into the can of flour. I turned back around to a puffy white cloud and four pint-sized flour mountains on top of their “cookies.”

That’s when I lost it. I yelled at them for making a huge mess. All of a sudden our “fun” family activity had taken a turn for the worse.

My husband offered to help the boys finish. I am sure he could tell I was nearing a breaking point. But I was too stubborn to stop our fun-filled activity.

I had a giant ball of dough to roll out, cut and then bake and I realized my children weren’t going to be any “help.” So I gave up on getting their help. I gave up on keeping order.

I gave each of them a ball of dough and let them have at it. They rolled and cut and mixed who knows what into their dough samples for a long time. They each made their own “delicious” cookie filled with all kinds of goodies and topped with cherry fruit snacks.

Giving up on the perfect cookie-making experience did wonders for my nerves but it was a devastating for my poor, innocent kitchen. When we were finished I swept up an inch of flour from off of the floor.

I have fond memories of rolling out dough and helping my mom make treats. Those memories don’t include my mom ever yelling at me for the dough sticking to the table or for flour getting on the floor. How did she do it? How did she keep her cool? We always had a great time. I am worried my children won’t have any memories like that. I wish I were more patient.

I think a lot of times I set my expectations far too high. I should have realized that making cookies with two little boys was going to be disastrous.

Maybe someday I’ll be ready to try making sugar cookies with them again. But probably not until I can get on some anti-anxiety meds.

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