Do It Myself

D2 is getting older. Three, to be exact, which is pretty big and grown-up. And she is ready to do all sorts of things herself that grown-ups used to do for her. She dresses herself (today she is wearing both a dress and a maxi skirt–fashion at its finest), she makes her own lunch (mostly granola bars) and reads her own stories (mostly about fairies and High School Musical).

I like independence and there are quite a few things I am ready to stop doing as a parent, so I roll with toddler independent streaks. So today, when it was time to take cupcakes to our neighbors and she asked if she could carry them, well, I considered it.

These were amazing cupcakes. Yellow cake, whipped chocolate frosting, multi-colored sprinkles. Light and fluffy and chocolate-y and delicious. For the first batch, Ella carried the cupcakes and D2 delivered the accompanying card. Super successful. I watched from the door, seeing their adorableness on the sunny porch on an almost spring-ish day. Dresses and sunshine and cupcakes.  Ahh.

When they got back, D2 asked Ella if she could puuuuhhhh-leease carry the cupcakes this time to the second house. This was a fuller plate (larger family). It was a much longer walk. There was a stiff breeze and she was wearing a maxi skirt, which they don’t actually sell for people her size, so its too long. This was a risky gamble.

I remembered the last time D2 got to “carry the cupcakes.” Last October for a cake walk. She dropped the cupcakes face down within 10 steps, smooshing them terribly into the plastic wrap. We still took them, but I don’t think they went in the first round.

Today, in retrospect, I should have wrapped them. But I thought that might give her a false sense of security, as I remembered how stuck the dropped ones got last time. So I just encouraged her to “Be so careful. Walk so slow. Be sooooo careful.  Walk sooooo slow.”

They were off. I watched her slow progress across the courtyard. I could feel looming disaster and fragile hope, swirling together in the almost-spring wind.  Ella dashed across the grass, carrying nothing but a card, while D2 painstakingly followed. Slow, careful steps. Man, she is cute and she is trying so hard. She is listening. She is getting so big.

She made it farther than I thought she would before it all went down. Near the large oak tree a protruding branch, or a strong gust, or the malicious hand of fate tripped her up. She was moving so slowly that it actually was slow motion. The cupcakes flew up in the air and gracefully arced in all directions towards the wet, leafy mulch.

I ran; the neighbor ran. Everyone was too late. D2 was crushed, picking up the gorgeous cupcakes, now decorated with “disgusting nature.” The neighbor said thank you and told her they looked like they had been delicious. D2 put them sadly back on the plate and headed to the house. She carried them successfully the whole way.

So, we’re making new cupcakes. And she threw those ones away all by herself and told me that this afternoon I could help her carry the next batch.

Seems like growing up to me.

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Lent: An Exercise in Rationalization

I will not eat refined sugar until Easter.

I will not eat *dessert* until Easter.

I will not eat dessert unless its has clear nutritional value, like chocolate-covered almonds, which are full of antioxidants and protein.

I will not eat unhealthy dessert, except on Sundays. If you completely deprive yourself you are destined to fail, right?

I will not eat unhealthy dessert during the week; cookies are sometimes necessary in social situations or to boost my professional productivity and are, therefore, not dessert.

I will not eat refined sugar that comes wrapped in packaging. Homemade dessert is a different thing. And ice cream cartons are really more like a family-style serving bowl from which you fill up your own, personal bowl–not packaging.

Snow days with children and visiting family are obvious exceptions, since you can’t be a good parent/host without providing snacks. And you can’t be expected to be snowed in and not eat all those snacks, some of which inevitably are dessert.

MI gave up TV, which we mostly just watch together. So I haven’t watched TV either. Maybe I actually gave up TV until Easter.

I am not watching TV until Easter. Except children’s shows, because the kids didn’t give up TV and sometimes they get scared of cartoon villains or I need to audit to make sure their shows are wholesome and educational.

I am not watching TV for grownups. Sports are not TV, since you could in theory be watching it live if you happened to be there. And movies, which aren’t on TV if you use another device to play them.

Best Wishes for Lent: Grab some cookies and let’s watch basketball and My Little Pony!