Never in my life have I been a morning person but clearly getting up at 6 a.m. every morning is the answer to most things. How does one clean house and still be the fun parent? Get up early. How do you find time for yourself? Get up early. It’s become routine.
And with those 2 extra hours, I’ve had more time to plan. I didn’t want my 4 year old to feel slighted because his sister was doing all the fun stuff. I didn’t want him vegging out for 8 hours either.
So what did we do?
1. We had lunch with Daddy.
2. We had a play date with our friends.
3. We went to story time.
4. I took him out for cookies and milk.
5. We went to the park.
We had a great week but between driving my husband and our daughter to and from work and school respectively, I was filling up every other day. I just couldn’t afford our little outings. I needed to be fun mom at home. The problem was nearly every friend Logan had was in school of some sort. I was at a complete loss.
Then one morning I decided to make cupcakes. As I gathered my ingredients, a little voice asked “What are you doing?” “I’m about to bake some cupcakes.” I answered. “Can I help?” He did not wait for my reply. Instead, he scooted a footstool next to me and waited. “Sure you can!” I said.
As I was explaining why butter and sugar needed to be mixed together first, he pushed my hands of the mixer and took over. “I want to do it by myself.” He said. Ugh. I thought. How many other mommies would hand over their hand mixer to a 4 year old? I didn’t want to discourage him. “Hold it level.” I told him. He did really well. I switched off the mixer and cracked the eggs. Then, he added the pre-measured vanilla and the mixer was turned back on. “I want to do it!” He said. “Ok, just hold it level.” I reminded him.
In a separate bowl, I added the baking powder and flour. I was about to whisk it together when I heard “I want to do it.” “Ok, hang on.” I set the whisk down and turned off the mixer. “You did a great job!” I told him. It wasn’t a lie. I was half expecting one hell of a mess but he proved me wrong. He moved his stool, took up the whisk and began to stir.
“Now, we’ll add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.” I told him. “Can I do it?” He asked. “Not this time,” I said “but you can stir while I’m doing it.” Nice save, I thought. I tapped the bowl empty and started the hand mixer. “I want to do it.” He said it with gusto. So I let him do it.
When the batter was ready, I set the oven to 350 degrees and began greasing the cupcake tin. I got out a small ladle and showed him how to fill the cups. He had filled 3 before losing interest and then asked if I would take over for him. I gave him both beaters to lick as a thank you and the ladle He was very pleased with himself. “This is really good.” He told me. “That’s because you made it.” I replied. He skipped off.
While we waited for the cupcakes, I began scraping the jar of frosting into a bowl. I reassembled the freshly washed beaters and was just about to fluff it back up when I heard “I want to do it.” “You can frost the cupcakes when I’m finished.” I said. He seemed satisfied with the response.
I scraped the frosting into a small bowl and gave him 3 cupcakes and a saucer of sprinkles. Then, I showed my son how to ice a cupcake. He tried it 3 times and was just about to eat the best of the bunch before I asked “Aren’t you forgetting something?” I picked up an iced cupcake from my plate, took a pinch of sprinkles and spread them over the top. He was thrilled. “Sprinkles!” He added the sprinkles to his cupcake, before eating it and taking off again.
While that process took roughly 2 hours, it was 2 hours of us at home, enjoying our time together. He was learning and for the first time in nearly a week, he had made Kylie jealous. The recipe below is the one we used. Enjoy!
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup butter or applesauce
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp of vanilla
- 1.5 cups all purpose flour
- 1 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup milk
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line your muffin pan with paper liners. In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs one at a time and stir in the vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour and baking powder before adding it to the batter. Stir in the milk until smooth. Divide batter equally among the cupcake liners. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool for 20 minutes before icing.