This was probably the second or third sentence out of her mouth this morning. “No, you can’t have a cookie. You haven’t had breakfast yet. Here, have a banana.”
A little while later, following a bowl of cheerios, about 40 demands to play the “angry bird game”, at least five temper tantrums, and a long snuggle on the couch, she says to me, “I want a cookie.”
It’s no longer to early for a cookie. I don’t have a good excuse, but I wish I did, because I know that I don’t have any cookies. Not even one. I can’t give her a cookie. I don’t have any. I tell her the sad truth, “I’m sorry, Baby, there are no cookies. We’re all out.” She bawls.
Then she looks up at me through her teary eyes and she says the two things I don’t want to hear. “We could go to the store.” She grins brightly, “We could MAKE cookies!”
I don’t want to go to the store. We have to walk. My husband and I share a car, so if I want to head to the store during the week it involves the stroller and an adventurous spirit. I lack spirit today. I lack sleep today. I don’t wanna! But we could make cookies. EXCEPT.
Except making cookies with my daughter is harder. She has allergies. Some days it feels like she has allergies to everything. Especially cookies. She’s allergic to milk. And eggs. And cornstarch. And some other things, but without milk, butter, and eggs it is remarkably difficult to make cookies.
Making cookies in our house requires skill, creativity, an adventurous spirit, and ingredients. We lack at least half of these things today (spirit and ingredients). But, I have to stop myself from saying no, because the horrible truth of the matter is that, if we didn’t have to work around the allergies, I’d be up for making cookies today. Which means that I’m up for it. Even though I’m not.
My girl doesn’t get to miss out on the basic childhood things, like cookies with Mommy, because of her allergies. There are more than enough things that she’ll miss out on as time goes on. If I can help it, I won’t add to the list.
So, we went to the store.
We brushed our teeth. And had a tantrum, because we hate brushing our teeth. We brushed our hair. And had an even bigger tantrum because we really hate brushing our hair. We found our socks and coats and put them on. And had another tantrum because it was taking too long to leave and it was lunch time and we were hungry.
So we stopped and had lunch. Then we walked to the store. We got what we needed and went home. (Kind of. Really we said ‘hi’ to everyone we saw, had every third person tell us how amazing her curls are, and had to be reminded to stay in the stroller at least four times. This was actually a really good shopping trip.)
Finally, we made it home. We go potty again and wash our hands. And have a tantrum. And get on our aprons and pull out all of the stuff to make Fiona-Safe Chocolate Chip Cookies.
And we made cookies.
Somewhere in the process of explaining that we have to follow the recipe, and that cookies really don’t need a half cup of baking soda, and trying to adapt my recipe to her needs, and keeping her fingers out of the electric mixer, I looked at my tiny daughter and I actually saw her. From her ringlet covered head, to her sparkling, intense eyes, to the smudge of flour on her nose, and the huge apron that envelops her from her neck to her toes, she is incredible. She is amazing.
And when I realize that it sinks in straight past the unhappy. It goes straight to my heart and helps me be okay.
She takes skill and creativity and spirit. Some days I lack those things, but not today. Today there is only one thing left to say:
Baby, I want a cookie, too!