Last Friday my daughter had the day off from school. I wanted to do something fun with her so I suggested that we bake some Valentine's Day cupcakes. I figured we could give them our to friends and relatives. That never happened. What follows is my recollection of how a simple project turned into a disaster.
The night before we were to bake the cupcakes, I asked Princess if she'd like to help me make them. We'd been inspired by Master Chef Junior. We figured that if an eight-year-old boy could pull off amazing culinary feats, certainly my daughter could make cupcakes from a box mix. Sounds simple, right? Well, the part that is important to note is that Princess has OCD and ADHD. This translates into a child with a low attention span who's a perfectionist as well. Not a good combination.
This was the first time that Princess was going to see the process through from beginning to end. Typically she'll help stir and frost but not much else. On this particular day, I thought I'd set her up for success by frontloading her with the steps and praying for extra patience. When it came time to crack the eggs, she would crack and egg then wash her hands. Since the recipe called for three eggs, she washed her hands three times. She helped just fine with mixing up the batter. Before we knew it, it was time to put the batter into the cupcake liners.That's when the bottom fell out. Princess did not want me to do the first few for her. She felt that she'd watched me enough times that she knew what to do. You know what happens when you have a bowl full of batter and an inexperienced baker, an overflowing mess. I calmly and patiently helped my daughter clean up the mess. Then when she was done with the first twelve baking cups, I did the remaining twelve. Since my daughter had been so generous with first half, there wasn't enough batter for the rest of the baking cups. Normally it would not have been a big deal but I'd set out our cute cupcake stand that had exactly 24 spots. I tried to downplay it but Princess was set on making sure there were 24 cupcakes. So I told her I'd help her figure it out.
About this time Princess had probably had enough and needed a break. She chose this time to leave me while she attended to her hygiene needs. I encouraged her to hurry along, but she still took a half hour to return to our baking session. While she was gone, I'd tried to even out the cupcakes a little but that left many of the liners wrinkled. For my OCD kiddo wrinkled liners were a sign of imperfection so I came up with the brilliant idea of putting the batter from the wrinkled liners into fresh ones. This took a bit of finesse and my patience had worn this by this time. I did not realize the stress that making these cupcakes had placed on my daughter until a saw a tear roll down her cheek. I thought she was crying because she couldn't do it. I snapped at her and said, "Stop crying!" This made things worse. Only later did she tell me that she wanted me to be proud of her so she was trying to be perfect. I quickly apologized before putting the cupcakes in the oven.
After that fiasco, I was pretty frazzled so I suggested that she frost the cupcakes with her sitter that night since my husband and I were going to go out for Valentine's Day. All went well except the sugar monster took over. Princess could not help herself. She ate four cupcakes even though she only had permission to eat one. That really annoyed me because she insisted that we make 24 cupcakes to fill up the cupcake stand but then she immediately ate four. Well, I guess there were 24 for about a minute. That counts for something right?
When my husband and I arrived home to this news later that night, I realized that having these kinds of sweets in the house was not a good idea. This is something that we've been dealing with at home lately.
When Princess woke up the next morning, she discovered that the cupcakes had gone into the witness protection program. No one in the house would tell her where they went. A few days later I brought out a few cupcakes for our family to enjoy. I gave the rest to a family friend.
For now we may just stick to making smoothies.