There’s Always Time for Apple Pie

Life Lessons from a Two Year-old, Motherhood, Uncategorized, Yummyness
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The ugliest, most perfect pie ever

There’s Always Time for Apple Pie

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I love to bake. Like really, really love to bake.

I’ve made stunning 4-tier wedding cakes, perfectly iced in homemade buttercream; cakes which took days to bake, ice, assemble and decorate.

It was nothing for me to crank out 4 loaves of bread from scratch on any old Saturday morning, or whip up a few dozen cinnamon twists to send to work with my hubs for his crew.

I LIVED for brioche, trying every recipe I could find until I finally made the perfect, airy loaf. (I’m pretty sure this is the exact brioche Marie Antoinette was talking about.)

I used to be one hell of a baker.

Until I had a baby, that is.

These days, I feel good when I get a box cake made on time for a birthday in our household, and even better if I actually remember the candles!

So when my sister stopped by with a dozen gorgeous red apples, fresh off their tree a few days ago, I was inspired. I just HAD to bake something. Something GOOD.

“Hank!” I said. “Let’s bake a pie!”

Now, friends, this is NOT what a perfect apple pie is supposed to look like. Not even close.

What it does look like, is exactly what it is: a pie a toddler baked.

Old Me would never have stood for it. Old Me would have thrown out the torn-up, over-worked pastry that sat in our fridge two days longer than it should have, and made fresh. She would have rolled it and lined that pie plate smoothly and evenly, then pinched perfectly-even flutes all around the edges to seal the top.

Today though, for the first time ever, I had a helper. And Hank wanted to do it ALL. He wanted to roll the crust out with the big huge rolling pin. And mix the ingredients. And peel the apples with that fun old crank peeler his great-grandma gave us. He wanted to do all of it.

All. By. Himself.

So, you know what I did?

I let him!

I’m NOT that perfect baker I used to be–I just can’t be. I’m way too busy being mom. (And that’s even better.)

When that sweet two-year-old woke up early from his nap today, we spent that extra hour making the ugliest apple pie I have ever made.

It may be the ugliest pie I’ve made, but it is the pie I’m proudest of.

(And it tasted far sweeter than any of the pretty ones ever did.)

***

A Missing Fear of Heights

Hank Humor, Motherhood

We Wilsons live in a house with many, many stairs. We decided baby gates were really only needed on the tops of two of our staircases – at least at first – so we put those in and called it good. After many months of both his Daddy and me trying to keep our determined little Hankster from figuring out how to go UP the stairs, he finally got his chance. And he mastered it in about one minute. By the time I got over to him he was already halfway up, and nailing it, so I let him keep going against my better judgement! When he got to the top he did a little victory dance with an adorable squeal, as if he knew he had just accomplished something against great odds. I was equal parts proud for him and terrified for me.

As he danced around at the top of the landing, I had a scary revelation. With this new accomplishment came a new challenge: going back down the stairs. Why oh why did we build the split level house with three long flights of stairs? And why oh why does he think if he just runs straight at the stairs faster he will get down them easier? This adorable monster of ours obviously does not understand the concepts of heights, inertia, or danger

Just crawl down them backwards and show him, they said. He will pick it right up, they said.

Well, he still hasn’t figured out the whole “down” thing yet, so I’m praying he does soon! It takes so much willpower to not just scoop him up and carry him down myself!

My other terrifying Hank adventure this week also involved great heights, but this one included a near-death experience! He decided that in addition to not being afraid of heights, he would also try to be a stunt baby!

Why not?

Our back deck is one of Hank’s favorite places. I love letting him play out there while I do dishes, because it is hooked right to the kitchen. Daddy built us a hell-for-stout baby gate on the stairway down, and a big sunshade overhead as well, so we both thought our deck was one big wonderful outdoor playpen where he couldn’t really get into too much trouble.

Keep the monster caged!

That is, until I saw him try to get himself OUT of the playpen!

I made the mistake of taking a work call while I was cleaning up the kitchen a few mornings ago, and after the minute-or-so phone call I peeked out the door to check on Hank and I almost fainted. There he was – laying on his back, wriggling his chubby little bod underneath the bottom railing of the deck! And he must have channeled his inner Flat Stanley, because he was already up to his waist!

I panicked, rushed over to him and yanked him out, and frantically yelled for his Daddy while Hank looked at me with disdain, like I had foiled his plan. I never in a million years would have thought A) that he would be able to fit under there and B) that he would have any desire to find out whether or not he did!

Well, he sure did. And once I explained the whole emergency to Daddy, he tried to ease my mind with some good old Daddy logic.

“You know honey, his head definitely wouldn’t have fit through anyways, if he could have even gotten that far.”

Oh, ok! I feel much better now!

Seriously? So what you are saying, Daddy, is that his 25 pound body could get through and dangle from his 81st percentile-sized head, and you would be ok with that?

Yeah, I didn’t think so.

And I was just not ok with risking it, either, on account of “we didn’t think he would fit through there.” Simply “watching him closer” didn’t seem like the right solution either, as fast as he had gotten himself into his little predicament in the first place!

So off to Home Depot we went, and the 1-by-2s quickly went up around the bottom railing so I can sleep at night and Hank can still continue to enjoy his lovely alfresco redwood playpen. Crisis averted. For now, anyways. Probably just until the monkey realizes he can climb the rails!

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Just try to get through there now, you adorable little Houdini!