If you have a 3 year old, or are planning to someday have a 3 year old in the house, let me give you some advice. Do NOT try baking with the child. I know, I know. It sounds so fun and cute and all, but the reality is very, very ugly. Girl Terror "helped" me make carrot/raisin bread today.
I set all the necessary ingredients on the counter, and plopped her butt up next to them. She chatted away aimlessly while I measured flour, sugar, baking powder. I turned away to get the salt, and she picked up the egg. Silly me, I must have startled her when I barked "Put the egg down! Now!" She is such a good listener. She dropped that egg right into the bowl. Okay, so our bread might be a bit crunchy today.
As this is not our first baking adventure together, I thought I knew the danger areas, and was prepared. I very clearly said "I will stir today. NOT you. Just me." She is quick, that girl. She had her hand on the spatula and the spatula in the bowl in the blink of an eye. What happens when flour, sugar, and salt is vigorously stirred? Flour, sugar and salt everywhere.
To be fair, she was very well behaved while I measured the rum (yes, this is a very good cake!) into the bowl of raisins to soak. She watched me shred carrots, munching away happily on any carrot I left in her reach. I was fooled into thinking it would be okay to step away and spray the pan with Pam. I don't like to do it in the kitchen, because the little darling might breathe in the nasty oil. HA! When I finished spraying, 3.2 seconds later, she had a spoon in the raisin mixture, scooping up rum (RUM!!) and slurping it down. Suddenly breathing in oil fumes seemed pretty healthy.
The final step was to fold in the walnuts. "Let me try, Mummy!" "No, you don't like nuts. You're not a nut kind of girl." (Must add that to Things I've Said post). In her little mouth a nut went. Chew chew. "Blech." Out of her mouth, right into the bowl.
Finally, we were ready to bake. I held the bowl, and the spatula, and her job was to "hold" the pan still. All she had to do was sit there, the pan isn't likely to jump around. At least, not without her help. As soon as the batter was past the point of no return out of the bowl, she decided the pan was in need of adjusting.
I am such a good cook, and calm mother, I just grabbed handfuls of batter and plopped it into the pan. Off the counter, oozing down my wrists, into the pan.
As I lifted my "helper" down and sent her on her way, she kissed me and said "That was fun, Mummy! I LOVE cooking! Let's make more bread!"
If I only had some rum. I'll just have to settle for sniffing my 3 year old's breath.