It was a rookie mistake, at least that’s what I told myself. I overfilled the cookie pans. The cookies overflowed as they baked becoming one big, sponge-like, yet crusty mess with sticks coming out from four sides. You guessed it, I was trying to make cookie-pops. This fad has probably come and gone for the rest of you because it just caught my eye. I am always fashionably late for anything fashionable or a day late and a dollar short as my father-in-law likes to say. It’s not the end result, but the effort I put into it or is it the journey that is supposed to matter most? Enough with all of these sayings! My point is the end result was a disaster and it makes me feel better to pretend it was all about the journey, but we all know cookie-pops are all about the end result and not at all about the effort part or the journey.
It all started when I went to a Quinceanera last weekend and enjoyed eating cookie-pops. Then, the very next day, I was wandering aimlessly through Walmart where I discovered an entire aisle devoted to cake and cookie pans and supplies. After a few days of debate with myself, I went ahead and bought what I needed to make these delicious cookie treats. I imagined all of the amazing things I would make for holidays and birthdays. My creations would win awards. I’d be featured on Rachel Ray or have my own show on Oprah’s new TV network. I was feeling adventurous and maybe a little overconfident because I decided I was going to make cookie-pops and cake-ball-pops all at the same time. I kind of forgot about the toddler under foot and the three dogs asking to go outside and then asking to come inside and then asking to go outside (repeat as many times as possible). I’m not sure why I thought this would be a successful endeavor except that I like to imagine myself as Super Mom, sort of like Wonder Woman, but with a less charming figure and no bullet proof bracelets.
The first batch of cookie-pops overflowed, the second batch over cooked, and there was no third batch because apparently one cake mix only makes 8 cookies even though the directions claim it makes 12. Maybe I could have made 12 if I didn’t overfill the pans, but it seems seriously unlikely. The second batch may have been a success, but I somehow thought 20 minutes was enough time to get my daughter to bed, which probably tells you something about my ability to estimate time. Although, some people do claim that the crystals in this area cause a time warp or a black hole or something. I am guessing that we probably live directly over a very large quantity of crystals and will be sucked into the abyss at any moment. Three rounds of “Milly the Meerkat” (and a slight nod of the head that ended with me saying, “I am only resting my eyes”) later I remembered that I was supposed to be baking cookies. In a rush of panic I ran for the kitchen, yanked open the oven and stared at 4 very brown hockey pucks with sticks protruding from them. I toyed with the idea of frosting them anyway, but decided against it once I started to calculate the dental bills that would likely accumulate. How many of my friends and family would crack a tooth when they bit into the beautifully decorated, but deceptively hard cookies? Of course, in all reality, frosting them probably would have just made them look worse because I have no experience in that department either.
The cake-pops were frustrating in their own way too. Each step required a mandatory 2 hour waiting period while the pops cooled in the refrigerator. In the end though, they came out kind of cute. I’m looking forward to making some again. I made them look like Elmo from Sesame St. Well, they sort of look like Elmo if you kind of squint while looking at them and pretend you don’t notice that Elmo’s mouth is suspiciously missing. All in all it was a fun little adventure and the pops made my daughters day so I guess it wasn’t all bad! The only thing I regret is eating all of the mistakes. What kind of person decides to make cookies (covered in pure sugar) when they are right in the middle of trying to lose a few pounds? I don’t think Wonder Woman would ever do that sort of thing. She probably only eats rice cakes and drinks diet soda. I don’t think I will ever be able to squeeze into those bullet proof bracelets.
Oh, to be a teenager again! Yep, I actually thought that last Saturday night when I attended my first Quinceanera. Everything was decorated in a fabulous hot pink and zebra striped motif (including most of the guests!). The food was beyond delicious. The beautiful young lady we were celebrating is so loved and adored by her family that her Great Aunt hand rolled 500 flautas and her Grandmas made brisket, potato salad, and rice. There was enough food to feed the mouths of 80 hungry people. Not to mention a zebra striped birthday cake, a cupcake tower and cookie-pops that were all provided by this young women’s lovely family. What a blast!
My daughter was the center of attention when we arrived. She was circled by teenage girls and celebrated for her “cuteness”. Of course, the attention soon shifted to the birthday girl leaving my daughter to wonder where all of her admirers had gone. This seemed to set the tone for the rest of the night. During the grand entrance ceremony my daughter dislodged herself from my bear hug and attempted to run through the circle of photographers and no doubt climb the throne to overthrow the princess. Then, during the slide show, where we watched the birthday girl mature right before our eyes, my daughter ran up to the screen right at the end. Everyone started clapping because the slide show was over. My daughter turned around to face the audience smiling and looked like she was ready to take a bow. She thought the applause was all for her! We managed to eat dinner, but it was 8pm and bedtime. Miss cranky started rolling around on the floor attempting to trip dancers, dancers wearing fantastically high heels that could also be used as murder weapons. What a night! When the DJ turned the music up it was our cue to leave.
It would have been fun to stay longer and dance and eat ourselves happy, but it was obvious my daughter wanted to be in her bed tucked in with Elmo (she fell asleep on the short ride home). The slideshow had left me all teary-eyed anyway. I realized how quickly time goes by and that someday in the not too distant future my daughter will be a teenager. She will be wearing short skirts, giggling with her friends, and hanging on the arm of her boyfriend. It’s going to happen too fast. I’m not ready. For now I think I’ll just eat my zebra striped cookie-pop and be grateful. Grateful that her short skirts come with bloomers and that a furry red monster named Elmo is the closest thing she has to a boyfriend. It doesn’t get any better than this.
There I was with peanut butter on my pants, gel medium on my phone, and a permanent slice of very old banana permanently affixed to my linoleum floor. That was the moment I realized my life had become one big, sticky mess. Life with a toddler can be summed up in one word: messy. Maybe two words would be better: super messy. No, it’s three words: Super, Sticky, Messy. There is just no avoiding it no matter how hard you try to.
Sometimes, however, I do like to keep score. For example, it is 1:30pm and so far my daughter has worn three different outfits and I am not even dressed yet. When I do manage to get dressed and out of the door I find jelly hand prints on the back of my pants or marker drawings down the arm of my jacket. Toddler win; motherhood fail.
Her hair is combed and styled in a cute little ponytail and mine…well…mine is a disaster. Speaking of hair, my hairdresser suggested that I blow my hair out and style it once every three days. I should just wake up on the non-styling-days, spritz it with a little water, and go. She obviously does not live with a toddler. Most days I end up with oatmeal, dog water, or some other food related item in my hair. It has to be washed every single day and I usually don’t have time to style it in any flattering way. My daughter, however, is dressed and coiffed beautifully every morning!
My daughter helps me clean up her spills by dragging a paper towel through the puddle on the floor while yelling joyfully, “Messy! Messy! Mess!” Then she usually rolls around in it, walks through it, or tries to eat it. On the other hand, I have washed the floor several times and it still looks like a barrel of monkeys has taken up residence in my kitchen. Two points for team-toddler and zero for team-mommy.
In this game of mommy versus toddler, my daughter is on a winning streak. She is a champion at this game and I will never score enough points to catch up. One thing I have learned from my messy life with a toddler is that banana is stronger than Gorilla glue and Crazy glue combined. It is stuck to my floor and it is not coming off anytime soon. I’m thinking of marketing it as an all-natural, organic alternative to the glues available in stores now. Anyone interested in buying some? It might even come with a free piece of linoleum stuck to it.