Saturday, March 10, 2007

Call me the Cookie Monster

Well, it's been over a month since my last post, but I won't apologize, since although I really do want to blog on a more regular basis - sleep still takes priority when I have the time...

Purim has passed, and with it a flurry of baking, wrapping and delivering "mishlochay manot" to all our neighbors and friends. I don't know how I do it - the whole week before Purim, every night I prepared a different batch of cookies, and immediately froze them - then on the actual holiday (this year) I prepared about 12 festive plates filled with a variety of yummy cookies.

I have this fantasy that everyone on our street compares with each other, and those who don't get them yet are hoping to be added to my "friendly baking" list...(I like to give out breads and cookies to neighbors, who are also good friends, as thanks for their help with various things. Once, I baked a really good bread for a neighbor who came to kill a scorpion that entered our house when my son was home alone...that's a story in itself).

Anyway - this year as I was baking and wondering if I will continue this massive cookie tradition next year - I was thinking, if I only put this much effort into coming up with positive ways of helping my sons with homework, with housework, or with anything I ask them to do that immediately elicits an instinctive "NO". It seems that maybe I am directing my energies into things that are "nice to have" (as they always say about the intranet I am responsible for at work) instead of really focusing on the issues that need attention. Cookies are always a success, relatively easy to prepare - there's a recipe, I follow it, cookies come out good, neighbors smile and thank me - it's a very positive experience.

On the other hand, when I remind my sons to do their homework, I am immediately met with resistance and unfulfilled promises ("I'll do it later..."), which leads me to become a terrible nudge - reminding and demanding over and over again that they stop whatever it is they're doing and DO HOMEWORK. Which brings even more opposition, yelling and resentment - ultimately and almost daily a very negative experience.

Why can't my children be more like cookies? No, the question is, why can't the way I deal with my children be more like making cookies? I need to find the right recipe - a neutral, floury base (the initial approach), sweetened as necessary (maybe with a snack or some good quality time), and just the right amount of "baking powder" (or the equivalent amount of creativity) added to get things to rise...then once it's baking (the actual sit-down and do homework process), it's only a matter of time until we can all enjoy, and gain from, the tasty results. (Although I suppose I should expect to burn a few batches in the process)

And, as my youngest son's favorite song goes: "C is for Cookie, it's good enough for me" - but now that I think about it, I need to strive for much more than "good enough", I need to go for the whole bakery....

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