The boy has a good friend who took it upon herself to bake pies this month, which she has been selling to teachers and people around the community, so that she could raise money to give to families in need this Christmas.
I know, right? It feels like her mom and dad have experienced total Parental Victory, because here are my boys over here, asking, “So what’s the very biggest maximum you’re willing to spend on MY Christmas gift? If I know how high you’re willing to go, I can write out my list accordingly and save a lot of heartache for the both of us.”
The boy volunteered to help with the pies. Apparently, helping a friend bake pies in her time of need to raise money for a family’s Christmas dinner is more in line with what he’s willing to do than anything I can think of. The whole, “Your bedroom is a disaster and is in desperate need of fumigation and a garbage truck backing up to it” was met with a blank stare, which seemed to say, “And? You expect me to do this room cleaning? I’m terribly busy right now. Can’t you see that my earbuds are in and I’m throwing this golf ball into the air and catching it, over and over and over, while I lie on the sofa?”
The baking of the pies shook down exactly like this:
The boy announced at 5:00 last night that he needed three pies to contribute to the fundraiser. The boy mixed and stirred, and mixed and stirred, and created an enormous bowl of red slop that was called STRAWBERRY PIE GUTS. And then we had to fit pie crusts into pie tins, which involved trimming the excess dough off, and then… at 6:10 last night, the boy announced, “I am ten minutes late for youth group. I have these three pies made, Mom. Can you bake them all now?”
Because clearly what I wanted to do on my Sunday evening was bake three pies.
But, because I knew that his friend’s sweet mother was helping to bake IN EXCESS OF TWENTY-FIVE PIES, I thought that it would look dreadfully horrible if I shook my head NO and refused to push pies in and out of the oven all night.
You should be happy to know that I only broke the edges off one pie crust, as I pulled it out of a 425 degree oven without enough oven mitt between us. All the cuss words exploded like a stick of dynamite inside my head, as I pitched that pie two full feet, and hoped beyond hope that it would land safely on the cooling rack.
It did, with the exception of the fact that an edge broke off. No matter. The scalding strawberry goop was oozing out the side, so I just used that as my glue base and stuck bits of crust back on.
In other words, one-third of the boys’ pies look like preschoolers participated in the baking, while two-thirds of the pies could very possibly win a blue ribbon at the fair for PRESENTATION.
While all of this was going on, Thing 2 used the dough scraps from the trimmed pie crusts to form his own pie.
He smashed it and rolled it. He dusted it with flour, and then smashed it and rolled it some more. He squished it all into a pie tin and announced that he needed to bake it in the oven. It was at that moment that I crushed his dreams of becoming a famous baker by reminding him that real ovens are for folks over four feet tall.
So, he did what any intelligent four-year-old would do.
He baked his pie in the refrigerator.
In it went.
And out it came.
And in it went.
And out it came.
Over and over and over, until Thing 2 had baked his pie thirty-nine times in the luxuriously cold LG refrigerator before he had to go to bed.
This morning, he remembered that he had a pie baking in the fridge.
While Hubs was showering… and while I was brushing my teeth… Thing 2 went to grab his pie tin with the dried out bit of pie dough in it.
He returned to the bathroom a couple of minutes later, with a HOT PIE…
… because Thing 2 baked his pie, IN THE METAL PIE TIN, in our microwave.
Do you know the shocked look that crosses a mom’s face when her four-year-old hands her a very warm pie tin, when she THOUGHT he was baking it in the REFRIGERATOR???
Somehow, we had the favor of the Lord today and the blessings of Heaven, because, although the pie tin and the dough were extremely warm to the touch, nothing exploded, the house didn’t catch fire, and the microwave still works.
For THAT, we offer our Thanksgiving praises.
In other news, Thing 2 is learning to ice skate. We signed him up last month for ice skating lessons, which threw him into endless waves of dramatic tears and swoons, which made Scarlett O’Hara look like an amateur. He told us that he would refuse to skate, and that there was no bribe great enough to get him out on the ice.
I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a four-year-old plant his feet firmly in the ground and take a stance, but it’s never pretty.
In the end, after a couple of weeks of crying and bawling, Thing 2 announced, “I don’t want to twirl on the ice!”
And that, y’all, was the exact moment Hubs and I realized that he believed we had signed him up for figure skating, and that he was going to have to do leaps and lifts on the ice in a sequined outfit.
We all breathed a sigh of relief, because ice skating lessons are not the cheapest lessons a child can take in Small Town, USA, and the ice rink already had my debit card numbers.
But, last Saturday, Thing 2 took to the ice, and it’s safe to say that it was one of the best days of his life. He completed his entire thirty minute lesson, and then stayed on the ice for Open Skate right afterward for an hour. He simply glued himself to anyone and everyone who skated by — strangers… friends… kids he barely knew… adults he’d never met. He held their hands, and around and around the rink he went.
In the end, he could get up on his feet and shuffle along like a bulldog with fierce determination.
He was extremely confident before he took to the ice, because running on the skate blades, on the squishy floor outside the ice, was a piece of cake.
The boy came to watch his little brother’s first skating lesson, too.
(And yes. That’s a huge blue button I slapped onto this picture. Sorry, but the boy’s recognizable high school letter doesn’t get to be a featured item on the World Wide Web.)
Thing 2’s BFF, Vivi, is in his skating class, too. Vivi moved with grace and a girl-like gentleness on the ice, while Thing 2 looked more like a giant salmon that had been ripped from the river and thrown onto an Alaskan bank. He flopped and rolled. He slid and flipped and wiped out. He was the EXACT OPPOSITE of graceful and gentle on the ice.
After skating for ninety entire minutes last Saturday, Thing 2 declared the day to be the best one of his life. He could hardly wait for his next lesson, which was unfortunate, because he woke up this past Saturday morning, coughing like a seal. He coughed and barked, barked and coughed, and ASKED FOR A NAP AT 8:15 IN THE MORNING, which he ended up taking.
We had to stay home from his skating lesson this weekend.
And then he missed seeing his high school cousins play hockey Saturday night, because I didn’t want to take that cough of his out of the house.
But, today is Monday, and he’s all recovered. He’s more than ready for his next trip to the ice rink. The glorious thing about our family is this: THE COUSINS PLAY HOCKEY! THE COUSINS CAN SKATE LIKE PROFESSIONALS! THE COUSINS HAVE ALL OFFERED TO TAKE HIM SKATING! I just sat back and clapped and blew my party horn over this news, because falling on the ice at my age involves a hip replacement surgery.