Sunday, June 25, 2006

Birthday = cake

Connor wants to go somewhere.

"Let's go Omi & Opa!" & "Let's go ride in the van."

We are going to visit my folks this summer, but not until later. So I take Connor over to the calendar & show him the days between now & when we're supposed to leave.

While there, he sees that on Thursday, it will be Trevor's birthday. Seeing how he won't be able to go on a trip, he switches to something else. He goes to the baking cupboard, and notices I have frosting & cake mix. "Let's birthday cake!"

I think about hiding those things a little better in the future, but in the meantime, here's a teaching opportunity.

I ask, "Do you want to make a cake?"


"Okay, we can make a cake." Then I think it would be a lot simpler to serve cupcakes. Then I'm not as tempted, and you can get away with a lot less frosting (Connor's favorite part anyway).

So he chooses lemon cake over chocolate cake (Trevor wanted the chocolate for his party anyway). Connor actually wants a big cake, but I know he won't last very long waiting for it to cool & everything, so I tell him we'll make "little cakes" (cupcakes).

I get out the supplies as he tells me what we need from the back of the box. He is still learning fractions, so I have him match the 1 1/3 water from the picture on the box with the same measurement on my Pyrex measuring cup. We add the oil, and he tells me how many eggs we need (3).

I put the mix in the bowl, he pours in the liquids, and I let him crack the eggs - well, he tries, but he's a bit cautious, so I have to crack them a bit harder before I drop the eggs in the bowl. I hand Connor the wire whisk, and he mashes the yolks and starts to stir.

I help him get the sides & mix it up, and then we scoop the dough into the cupcake pans. I set the timer, and this keeps him from getting too anxious, but he spends some time hopping up and down in front of the timer. I know it's getting close because he'll yell, "Almost there!" When it finally beeps, Connor hands me the oven mitts, and I take the cupcakes out.

As soon as they are cool enough to take out of the pan, he's ready to eat, but they're too hot to frost yet. He jumps around a bit more while I tell him to wait until they cool down. I have a choice of frostings: Lemon, chocolate & white whipped. He pickes the white whipped. Five minutes later, the frosting won't melt off, and I'm able to give him a frosted little cake.

Then he's happy.

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