Wednesday, August 16, 2006

How to make bread with an almost two-year-old

I've always struggled with two aspects of stay-at-home-motherness. (Well, many aspects, depending on the day, but this post is about two in particular.) You see, while I'm spending quality and quantity time with my girl, I'm also trying to do the household stuff - cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping, laundry, etc. Since she's now too big to play on a blanket on the floor without moving (oh, I remember the days) and doesn't nap as much anymore, I've had to start doing things "with" her. While tasks tend to take about twice as long with her "help," I try to tell myself I'm teaching her valuable life skills...and myself patience. So, here is how my two-year-old helper and I made bread today.

Put child on chair by table. Tie on bib as apron. Laugh at how scooped cut-out for neckline makes child's little pot belly look even more sticky-out than usual.

Set large bowl on table. Start setting ingredients on table.

Remove bag of sugar from child's hand. Give wooden spoon so can "air stir" in big bowl.

Prevent child from scooping flour from container.

Mix water, sugar, yeast in measuring cup; give to child with spoon to stir.

Prevent child from pouring water/yeast into big bowl.

Begin measuring flour.

Prevent child from spooning water/yeast into big bowl.

Give child big spoon and let her start stirring flour as it is measured into big bowl.

Move water/yeast further away so it is not also stirred with flour spoon.

Move water/yeast further away.

Move water/yeast onto counter.

Finish measuring flour, etc. into bowl. Ignore largish "sploof" of spilled flour on table. Take "turn" to stir it all in well.

Laugh at child who likes to "tase it" the flour mixture because apparently it's "yum!" Ignore further deposits of flour onto the table. Figure proportions of ingredients are approximate anyway.

Combine milk, melted butter, water, egg, etc. in large measuring cup.

Realize child is now "stirring" with both hands. Reflect that this is all about the experience.

Add yeast mixture to other liquids. Pour all into flour. Ignore "little spot" of liquid spilled onto table.

Take "turn" to stir. Continue stirring until obvious need to add at least 3/4 c. flour to replace spillage. Add said flour. Continue stirring around small hands repeatedly grabbing "tase it"s.

Put additional flour on table in preparation for kneading. Model spreading it around with hands. Consider putting flour on child's hands so dough doesn't stick. Realize small hands are VERY well floured already due to "help." Flour own hands. Ignore vast sprinklings of flour now on nearby chairs and floor.

Dump dough onto table. Start kneading around small hands repeatedly grabbing more "tase it"s. Learn it still is "yum." Get told "Mommy, tase it." Taste it.

Watch child try to figure out how to unstick her fingers, which have now turned into paws after flour has coated already doughy hands.

Realize child is absolutely hilarious looking with flour-coated outfit, dough-covered paws, and wad of dough sticking out of her mouth. Wipe off hands and get camera. Take pix.

Return to kneading. Wonder idly how much dough has now been consumed by "tase it"s. Watch child try to pick dough off fingers with other dough-covered fingers.

Finish kneading dough. Set child on floor. Start only-large-bowl-in-the-house soaking to remove flour so it can hold bread dough for rising. Watch child continue to pick dough off fingers and drop onto floor. Shrug.

Run warm soapy water into sink. Get washcloth. Get child from dough-bit-covered floor. Bring child to sink and wash hands and face. Have child dry hands. Wash nailbrush, which is now full of soggy dough strings.

Turn on Winnie the Pooh video. Go to kitchen. Shake head at mess. Wash big bowl, dry, oil, put in dough. Cover and set out of the way.

Go to check on child. Ignore new smell.

Wipe off table.

Wipe dough off spoon handles.

Wipe dough off chair seat.

Wipe dough off chair back.

Sweep flour, dough, and now-crusty dough bits off floor.

Retrieve child from video. Carry struggling child upstairs to deal with new smell.

While upstairs, try to convince child a nap would be a good idea. Read book, leave child in crib.

Downstairs, finish wiping up stuff. Begin blog entry.

Ignore 1st "Maaaammmy."

Respond to 2nd "Maaammmeee" with "It's naptime, honey. Go back to bed." Listen to little feet pad across room to bed.

Type for 5 seconds. Listen to little feet pad across room from bed to doorway. Hear "Maaammmeee."

Respond to 3rd "Maaammmeee" with "It's naptime, honey. Go back to bed." Listen to little feet pad across room to bed.

Type for 5 seconds. Listen to little feet pad across room from bed to doorway. Hear "Maaammmeee."

Give up. Go get girl. Bring downstairs, put in front of Winnie the Pooh video, and finish blog entry.

And that's how we made bread today. Or at least, that's how we started to make bread... we still get to let it raise, punch it down (much fun), let it raise again, punch it down again, shape it, let it raise as loaves, and bake it. Ah, the glamorous, relaxing, tidy life of a stay-at-home parent!

(Credit is due to Sars of Tomato Nation who wrote something in a similar style about bring her cats to the vet that had me snorting in laughter. I'd link to it, but I'll be darned it I can find it right now.)


Pusher said...

Hee! I don't remember the last time I laughed this much before noon.

Syl said...

I think you need a bread machine...

Allknowingjen said...

LOL! Very funny :)