Every so often, parenting has been going a bit too smoothly so I suggest something I know I’ll regret as soon as it starts/ the words are out of my mouth: “Let’s do some baking!”
I don’t quite know why I do this – perhaps it is the glee and excitement on the girl’s face whenever the B-word is mentioned? Maybe it’s the guilt that I ship us off to the park at least once a day, partly (mostly?) so I don’t have any mess to tidy up at home? Or maybe it’s the last shredded remnant of The-Mum-I-Thought-I-Would-Be speaking – all exploration and experiments, you know, letting them be little – the reality being, fine, as long as it doesn’t involve glitter.
I’m a person who once used gravy powder to make chocolate muffins; the last time I made a cake I set the microwave on fire with my efforts to soften the foil-wrapped butter.
I’m not good in the kitchen.
It should come as no surprise then that the next discovery, after I’ve reminded myself that I hate baking but appear to love shooting myself in the foot, is that my cupboards do not contain the correct combination of staples.
Coats, shoes and pushchairs have to be wrestled with as we face the trip to the shop that I know is going to end with someone crying, and/ or a parental crumble (I find at least two parts topping to one part parent provides the best results) as I resentfully buy the latest edition of CRAP magazine.
Ingredients purchased, plastic tat broken, magazine discarded, its finally time to bake. But not before I’ve struggled with a conundrum – bake while the boy is asleep but sacrifice a cup of tea and a sit down, or wait until he wakes, aware that 90 minutes is not enough time to evolve the eyes in my arse I will require.
To be honest, baking with one child or two isn’t really the issue. I just hate even the threat of the mess. (Fortunately the boy performs a veritable cornucopia of household appliance roles – he hovers up the crumbs, deposits them in his internal dustbin (he once ate a stone with no noticeable side effects) and then celebrates the sugar high by doing a passable impression of the washing machine spin cycle.)
The fact that the girl who loves baking doesn’t really like cake is not entirely motivational either.
Despite not being The-Mum-I-Thought-I-Would-Be though, I do occasionally try. I live for the moments that I manage to make the small people happy, and to be honest I get bored doing the same-old all the time too.
Positive pants slapped back on I whip out the whisk, take a deep breath and preempt the imminent patience-drain by silently chanting my fallback mantra, “What would Flop do?”
Just as I credit Peppa with successfully preparing my daughter for the dentist, sharing her room with her brother, and teaching her to say “No” in an impressively dismissive manner, I also look to Bing’s tiny potato-shaped parent (weird how genetics work, huh?)for lessons on how not to eff up the small people.
Unorthodox it may be but anyone familiar with that moany Bing Bunny brat will already harbour healthy respect for Flop’s parenting. His ability to make Bing see sense where any other preschooler would see only rage and a reason to make their parent pay, is legendary, and from him we must learn.
Girlchild asked to ride her bike to the park, but doesn’t want to ride it back – what would Flop do?
Boychild insists on stuffing toy cars down his sleeping bag – can’t fall asleep without them, can’t stay asleep lying on them – what would Flop do?
Or, as in Easter Eggs, when one child drops her chocolate egg and it breaks all over the floor – what would Flop do?
Well, apparently he’d use some sort of witchcraft, Jedi mind trick or sleight of hand bribery, glossed over in the pages of the book, because Bing shares his egg.
I admit its unlikely, and absolutely makes me question my parenting ability, but if my kids can learn a bit of empathy while tormenting me at bedtime then I’m on board with that book.
But what about the baking?
With my mantra tucked in my parenting tool belt to stop me from cracking up, I break out the eggs and dust off the flour but if I’m honest there are also times when it’s less the cookie and more my sanity that is crumbling. Enter stage left, Bing Baking.
Nothing can quite replace the concentration-flour-clouds that accompany a baking four-year-old’s breath, or the surprising amount of strength required to cream sugar into butter, but when you just need to keep yourself afloat or the family alive it turns out there’s an app acceptable for that.
Bing Baking means your wee-one can practise the method with none of the madness – the rolling, the cutting, the baking and decorating, it’s all there with none of the mess and for what its worth, I reckon that if Flop really was a parent, that’s exactly what he would sometimes do too.
Written in collaboration with Bing Bunny, Acamar Films (with thanks for the bundle of Bing fun) but rest assured that all comments, opinions and hatred of baking are wholeheartedly mine.
Next stop on Bing Bunny’s Easter blogger’s tour is @laurasidestreet www.sidestreetstyle.com
Easter Eggs – RRP £5.99 from Amazon Bing and Sula are hunting for Easter eggs in the playground, in this egg-shaped board book based on the hit CBeebies TV series. But when Sula drops her chocolatey egg and it breaks, Bing decides to share his to cheer her up. Sharing an Easter egg… it’s a Bing thing! This Bing storybook is recommended reading for Bingsters aged 2+.
Bing Baking – RRP £1.99 from the App store (Apple Devices) or Google Play (Android) For the first time, your child can be part of Bing’s colourful and playful world by joining him and Flop in their kitchen for a joyful, fun and messy baking experience. In this child-friendly, super-creative app, your Bingster will get the chance to make and decorate a new batch of biscuits each time they play. They can roll the dough or squidge it with their hands, using an array of cutters to make different shapes. Once their biscuits are decorated, they can be popped in the oven but you’ll need to keep an eye on Chicky Timer to make sure the biscuits don’t burn. If they do, it’s no big thing – you might not be able to eat them but you can still decorate them. Don’t forget to tap on the camera to take a snapshot of your yummy delicious treats before you and Bing sit down to eat them together. Yum, yum, yum!