12 Days of Christmas {Polite and (paranoid) Style} 12 Life Lessons or (Baking with Cupcake)

Christmas is a time of togetherness.  It is also a time of baking scrumptious treats to enjoy and share.  Earlier this month, I wanted to make some cookies, and I thought it would be fun for Cupcake to join me.  She’s not even two years old, but she loves “helping” me.  While we were making cookies together, some life lessons came to mind, and I would like to share them with you.

12 Life Lessons

1) It’s not always going to be pretty

I remember being a kid looking at the decorated cookies in a magazine or a cookbook thinking, All I have to do is follow this recipe and I will make these beautiful cookies.  They never looked as beautiful when I decorated them.  Thanks to the magic of reality TV, I now know that only experienced bakers, those will extreme talent (usually older than 5), and those with extreme OCD have cookies as beautiful as the ones in the cookbook pictures.  Life is like that, too.  It’s not always pretty, but that doesn’t make it any less wonderful.

2) Use what you have

I own two Flirty Aprons and one half apron that belonged to my Gramma.  She had a drawer full of aprons when I was growing up, which attributes to my love for aprons.  Less than a foot away from where Cupcake and I were flouring and rolling out dough, hung my aprons.  Did I put one on?  No.  Cupcake and I had flour all over our clothes.  I had a coffee date with some friends that evening, so this was not the best time for me to get messy.  If I had used one of my aprons, I would have been on time to see my friends.  But I didn’t think about it until after Cupcake got flour everywhere.  I could have saved myself some trouble IF I had used what I had.  You have it for a reason.  Use it.

3) Metal cookie cutters are the only ones worth using

We have both metal and coated metal cookie cutters.  You have to use the metal ones.  The coated ones are harder to get through the dough and the cookie sticks to it, which makes for upset toddlers and oddly shaped lumps of dough.

4) Laugh it off

Sometimes things get hectic like when you let a toddler flour your rolling surface.  You can’t get upset about every little thing.  You have to laugh.  Sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying.

5) Go with the flow

This may sound like a rehashing of “Laugh it off,” but it isn’t.  You don’t always laugh when you go with the flow.  Going with the flow is “rolling with the punches,” more about enjoying the moment and releasing expectations.  Something I have to work on frequently.

6) Eat the dough

Go on!  You know you want to.  As long as you don’t eat all the dough.

7) There’s a waiting period between dough cookie and edible cookie

Cupcake would get so frustrated when I put the cookies in the oven.  She wanted to eat them now.  I pointed to the timer and tried to explain that it would be ten minutes before they would be coming out of the oven.  She even tried to shove the cookie cutout into her mouth before I could put them on the baking sheet (Don’t worry.  I didn’t let her eat a whole dough cookie!).  You have to wait for the dough to become a cookie.  Let it become something better in the heat of the oven.

8) Hot cookies are like molten lava, not meant to be ingested 

There is a difference between hot cookies and warm cookies.  Hot cookies scald your mouth and make your life miserable for a couple of weeks.  Warm cookies are relaxing and give milk a reason to exist.  Sometimes things in life are like that.  Take the time to know the difference between hot and warm.

9) Rinse the pan in cold water between batches

Ok, that’s not really a life lesson.  It’s a trick that real bakers use.  They never use a hot cookie sheet.

10) Have Some Kind of Plan

The old saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail,” is true about many things.  Baking with a toddler is one of those things.  Even though I decided to do it on the spur of the moment, I knew that I was going to have the dough ready so that all she had to do was use the cookie cutter.  I think things went more smoothly because I had an idea of how to involve her with the cookie baking.

11) Use the Sprinkles

I have always been a girlie girl.  But on the way to adulthood, I lost some of that sparkle that comes with being female.  All females have it, whether you are a girlie girl or not.  I didn’t realize I had lost my sparkle until Cupcake came along.  She loves glitter.  She loves all things shiny.  I’m adding the sparkle back into my life in lots of little ways, but my favorite way is sprinkles.  Sprinkles are like edible glitter.  Sprinkles can bring a smile to any face.

12) Nothing Else Matters

The only thing that matters in this moment is now.  Be present.  Don’t let the worries of things around you and the drama that other people try to create ruin your happiness.

I hope you enjoyed my 12 Days of Christmas.  Thank you for reading.

God bless you! Merry Christmas!

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