I was cursing myself, in my head of course — Hank is still at that impressionable age. Why in the world did I sign up to make cookies for the church bazaar? Why did I sign up to make two kinds of cookies? The original plan was to make them on a weekend and then freeze them until the drop off day. But I didn’t make them on that first weekend or any weekend after that. The cookies needed to be dropped off between 9 and 3 on Friday. When I woke up on Friday I knew that I needed a miracle if I was going to pull this off.
Lately Abigail has been a real stinker. I love her, but things in our little world have become so much more difficult to manage. In one week, she went from crawling to pulling up in her crib. Now it seems she is only happy if she is pulling up and standing. Yay for milestones! Except she needs a full time spotter because at any given moment she just topples over. I’m thinking of getting her an infant harness and installing a rock climbing wall. She can just climb up and down all day long. Hank is old enough where he can be on belay down below. Kidding. Gone, too, are the days of those glorious long naps where I would just lay her down, give her a kiss, and walk away. Leaving me with lots of time to do things like oh, say, bake cookies. Now our naptime consists of laying her down and Abigail flipping over, crawling frantically to the side of the crib and pulling herself up. Repeat for 30 minutes. She is not tired. She is just rubbing her eyes and yawning to let me know how very awake she is. As you can see, time for making cookies is at a premium. Now, all of you people out there thinking: I just put my baby in his/her pack-n-play or high chair or some other contraption while I get things done. Good for you. Don’t judge us! Abigail is happy in those things for all of about two seconds and then she gets it. She is trapped. Cue the screaming.
So, you can imagine my delight at the thought of trying to bake all of these cookies. There is nothing like a deadline to get you moving. So at 8:30 I had Abigail dressed, fed, and sitting in her highchair. The first recipe was pulled up on my computer, and I was ready to bake some pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. A quick scan of the recipe let me know that this batch would make about 60 cookies. Great! The more the merrier. I turned on a little Frank Sinatra to remind me of a magical time when women with children made cookies in frilly aprons, heels, and pearls and were roasting a turkey at the same time. I, of course, was in my pajamas with my hair in a ponytail, a baby flinging toys right and left, and a dog laying right in the middle of our little aisle kitchen. I flexed a muscle and barred my teeth and was ready to begin. And just like that I had whipped up the dough with Abigail mesmerized by my mixer or perhaps the running Food Network commentary I was giving her. I was slamming dough in heaping tablespoons down on the cookie sheet and popping them in the oven. Only 50 more to go! Abigail started doing the eye rubbing and yawning thing, but I knew better. She wasn’t tired. She just wanted to go climb around in her crib. So I kept going, more tablespoons and more cookies. When Abigail’s head started to get a little wobbly I thought I’d better just make sure she didn’t want to go take a little nap. I put her down, and after only 10 minutes of crawling around and pulling up in her crib she was asleep! Thank you, Jesus! I ran back to the kitchen, where I was able to bake a few more batches before she woke up. Abigail started screaming and I scooped her up, changed her diaper, washed my hands, and was back in the kitchen to grab the cookies out of the oven at the buzzer. SCORE! We took a break so Abigail could eat and were back in business. I couldn’t believe she was still content in her high chair. At 10:30 we finished the first recipe, and I bravely was on to the second. I don’t know how it ended up happening, it may have been divine intervention, because by 1:30 we were pulling into the church parking lot. We walked in and were instructed to “just put them under that table.” I don’t know what I was expecting. I don’t think a Hallelujah chorus would have been too much. Do you? I had just baked for 5 hours with a baby, and we survivied it! I was proud of myself. I put my cookies under the table amongst what seemed like hundreds of others. What had seemed so enormous to me was no big deal. Yeah! No big deal. I walked out feeling like Superwoman and Abigail started to scream. Things were back to normal, but somehow, the pile of dishes in the kitchen didn’t seem so impossible.