Toddlers Are Better Teachers Than Parents Could Ever Hope To Be

Restless little kids are impossible. There is a lot of whining and hitting and other unfavorable behaviors that require skillful maneuvering to avoid full-on meltdowns. Normally I would just take the boys outside on days like today, but one boy is still recovering from a bout of RSV and should probably stay out of the wind. After trying to get them to color with little success, creativity (or possibly madness) struck and I decided that we were all going to bake cookies together.

Don’t get me wrong, I am normally one of those horrible hovering parents that everyone warns you about, but I am aware of it and am trying to do better. I could try to justify my behavior or talk around it, but i really don’t see the point. Every parent has their issues right? Anyway, I thought that letting them do the majority of the work on this particular project could help all of us. The boys helped me gather all of the ingredients and the measuring cups and spoons and set them on the table. Then they measured out the right ingredients and stirred everything together. It took restraint, but all I did was crack the eggs and hand out the right cup for each ingredient (and I might have stirred a bit at the end). Their level of concentration and cooperation was more than I thought was possible from two busy two-year olds. They were excited to help and to have a job to do. Here is a picture of them hard at work:


I am going to give you the recipe we used because I am always disappointed when I read a blog post about food and there isn’t a recipe:

Chocolate Chip Cookes

3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar (ours was crusty so we used more sugar)
1/2 cup butter, softened (if you forget to set it out early, just micro-wave for 20 seconds)
1/2 cup vegetable shortening (we used coconut oil)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (we substituted Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups chocolate chips (dark chocolate chips are my favorite)

1. In large mixing bowl, combine sugars, butter, shortening, eggs and vanilla. Scrape bowl.
2. Slowly add flour, baking soda and salt until well combined, scraping bowl often.
3. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. (If making gluten-free, whatever you do DON’T taste the cookie dough. You will think you ruined them).
4. Bake in a preheated 375 degree F oven 9-11 minutes (if you choose to make these gluten-free you will want to cook them more like 12-15 depending on size).

Of course, with two toddlers running the show, none of these instructions were followed to a tee. I was a little concerned since this was my first attempt at making my husband gluten-free cookies, but it somehow worked out fine. They were slightly crispy and chocolatey and perfect. And most importantly, I relinquished control long enough to let my children feel useful. (Hopefully that will help fill-up their self-esteem bank for moments when I am a much less perfect parent). Seriously though, I am really proud of all of us. I took a step back and the boys took a step forward.