Sunday, December 28, 2008

Gingerbread houses and life lessons

"Plleeeeeese, Mommy, let's make a gingerbread house." That was Logan's request for Christmas decorations. They had made one at school (his teachers must be hiding the Wonder Woman symbol on their chest, because there is NO WAY I would attempt a gingerbread house with 20 4-year-olds "helping"). I kept putting him off with the lame excuses, "Mommy doesn't know how to make gingerbread", "we don't have the right kind of pan", etc....basically anything to keep from saying, "No a chance, no gingerbread house, nada, zip, never!" I cook, but baking is NOT my thing, you actually have to measure and be precise, I prefer the "eyeball it" method, or the "Hmmm, I'll bet this would taste good in there." Fast forward to Christmas Eve, yes, I went to Wal-Mart on Christmas Eve, only because I didn't have everything I needed for Christmas (I think God was trying to teach me patience...I learned, please don't give me another lesson). We had ice the day before, so my original plans were shot down...but I digress. So, we are in the dreaded Wal-Mart, and right there on the shelf was a gingerbread house kit! Logan spied and and turned the baby blues on me, "Pleeeeeeease, Mommy, pleeeease." so I gave in. It was only $5, so I figured it would be worth it if it would keep him quiet for a few minutes. I completely expected it to be a pile of sticky crumbs and candy before it was all said and done, however, it was the best $5 spent of the whole Christmas season.

We carefully got the pieces out of the box (yeah, right, as carefully as a 4 year old can rip open a box), looked at the instructions, then tossed them (goes back to that whole following a recipe & baking thing). I snipped the icing bag, and "glued" the pieces together. Keeping Logan away from the thing while it dried was a challenge, but it stayed up. I decided I would "help" him decorate, and took the icing bag out of his hands. After a few meticulous, careful applications of "glue" and telling him exactly where to stick the candies, he looked up and said, "I want to decorate my house!" Every cell in my brain was completely against the idea, but I handed him the icing bag and started giving directions. He just looked at me like I was insane (imagine that, me, insane, with a 4 year-old hold a giant bag of royal icing?), and started squeezing and sticking. This child can't sit still long enough to make it through an episode of Veggie Tales, but he sat for over and hour, squeezing, glueing, and sticking. There was no candy left, he even took a few mini chocolate chips to add to the top (said it was reindeer poop....such an active imagination). The whole gingerbread house thing turned out to be a great experience. He was so proud of his creation, and I learned to let him do it by himself. I also learned that I am NOT cut out to be a cake decorator because I wanted it to look like the gingerbread houses on Food Network! Better to leave the decorating to the kids.

Anyway, here it is, hope you like it as much as Logan.


His Doorkeeper said...

I think you spent the best $5 you've ever spent because Logan did a wonderful job! How cute!

Are you going to be at the hospital tomorrow for the new arrival???

Happy New Year to all of you!

Lynn said...

This turned out soooo cute! And good job to you for letting your son do the decorating. You get the Wonder Woman badge, yourself! After years of trying gingerbread houses with my kids, I finally discovered the magic of graham crackers and store bought cans of frosting. It works great, and we never again had anxiety about any of it falling apart; you just grab more graham crackers and keep going :)