Monday, August 4, 2008


Saturday Daughter was bored. She wanted me to take her to Town so she could go shopping with her friends. She had all of $6 she could use for shopping. I had a difficult funeral Saturday and needed to finish worship preparation for Sunday, so I had no desire to take Daughter to Town. Besides, she had been in Town with Boyfriend Friday night for supper and a movie. I had been in town that entire time, too. As far as I was concerned, I had done my parental duty for the weekend.

She proceeded to ask for a number of things that she knew would cause me to tell her no. She wanted a puppy. She wanted to start beauty school Monday. She wanted me to take all her friend to Big City next weekend (over 60 miles away). Finally, she asked if she could bake some cookies. She assured me that she wouldn’t eat any of the cookie dough. We negotiated. I told her no cut-out cookies, as she generally gets frustrated with those and throws them away. She finally said she’d find a different recipe and make them. I granted permission. If nothing else, I figured it would keep her from bugging me for a while.

Daughter can do a good job with baking, and it can be a disaster. She took food careers at the local career center, so she learned a great deal about food preparation. The problem is that she doesn’t always choose to follow directions. She’d rather create her own recipes, and since she hasn’t spent enough time cooking with recipes, her experiments seldom turn out well. I have learned to stay far away from the kitchen when she is cooking, because any suggestions or comments I make are generally strongly rejected.

I had forgotten I’d told her she could bake when I walked into the kitchen sometime later. There was a glob of cookie dough stuck in the center of a wire whisk, with all the things she hadn’t managed to mix in sitting in a serving bowl. (Don’t ask me why she was using a serving bowl—we have many mixing bowls to choose from). I asked her what kind of cookies she was making. “Pinwheels, but since we don’t have any oranges or cranberries I’m making them without those.” I asked if the directions called for using a wire whisk. “No, I’m supposed to use an electric mixer.” I suggested she get the mixer out and follow the directions.

I retreated to my study, contemplating how cookies that were supposed to have oranges and cranberries in them would taste without either ingredient. When I next dared enter the kitchen, she was emptying the kitchen wastebasket, which contained the cookie dough.
“What are you supposed to do when you have trouble with a recipe?”

“Ask for help.”

“So why didn’t you call me?”

“Mom, they weren’t going to work.”

I reminded her again that sometimes I can figure out ways to fix kitchen disasters, and I don’t like wasting all the ingredients. I told her to clean up her mess and left, comforting myself with the knowledge that this had probably cured her of the desire to bake for a while, at least.

When it was time for bed, I reminded her she needed to check her blood sugar (something she’s had to do every night for the last 8 years). She became very angry, telling me that it was her body and her disease and she was fine and didn’t need to check. She accused me of treating her just like the workshop does. She ranted and raved. I didn’t respond. Finally, she checked her blood sugar. It was over 200. I chose not to comment.

Sunday morning her blood sugar was 195, which was the highest morning reading she’s had in weeks. I made an observation. “I know why you didn’t want to check your blood sugar last night. The cookie dough was just too tempting, and you knew your blood sugar would be high. You had promised me you wouldn’t eat any of the cookie dough, and you didn’t want me to know you had.” She wouldn’t look at me, but in a quiet voice said, “Maybe.”

I had chosen not to comment on the fact that she hadn’t cleaned the kitchen Saturday night. Sunday she rushed home after church and was finishing cleaning it when I walked in a little later. She recruited a teenager from the church to help her practice softball skills Sunday afternoon. I’m glad she found a better way to deal with her boredom.

No comments: