The Littles Baba and Deda, my Parent's-In-Law, arrived home late last week. They have been away since the end of July. Being in another country from my own family, we do rely on them a bit, and we are so grateful for their willing help.
A lunch was scheduled at Baba and Deda's for Sunday. Since it was Little Red's fourth birthday last weekend, we thought it would be opportunistic to celebrate with a cake and all the family this weekend. Most other times I have and would bake the cake myself. I LOVE baking, it makes me happy. I especially love eating home baking. This time however, I didn't.
It had got to 9:15am Sunday morning, I had just put Little M down for her morning nap, and was still tossing up whether or not to bake the cake, knowing we were planning on leaving around 11:30.
I quickly tossed it up in my head.
Right, do I bake this cake and have something yummy to celebrate with, to go along with all the praise of providing such delightful tasting treats? And do I also bring forth the morning from hell trying to bake this cake? Dealing with kids fighting for my attention, needing food, needing drinks, needing noses wiped, nappies changed, getting kids ready. Me getting totally stressed out, the kids getting totally stressed out. Me blaming EVERYTHING on hubby (bless him). Hmmm. I've done this all before, on more than one occasion. It doesn't end well.
So, I lower those expectations and decide not to bake the cake. Instead, I get to do nice things, like showering and washing my hair, ironing our clothes so we look semi-respectable, trying on two outfits, hanging out a load of washing, pulling in said load of washing 10 minutes later because the rain comes out of nowhere in this place, and tidying the kitchen. I think i may have even been nice and shared a laugh! We took our time, we got ready and we left on time...Happy!
Or, was I just being lazy?
I could have baked the cake during the week, but after a week of quite painful sinusitis and thinking i may need to have teeth extracted (who knew sinusitis had referred tooth pain??) it wasn't high on my agenda. I could have done it on Saturday night, but after breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and a batch of choc chip cookies (Auntie Ness's recipe - mmm gooey goodness!) - meh. These sound like excuses.
Anyway, we bought cake. It was average. But Little Red didn't notice. She was too excited by the fact that she got her cake with Smurf's on it, that she got sung to again, and she had more candles to blow out.
A stress-free morning, followed by a lovely family afternoon. Instead of returning home with three cranky overtired Littles AND a bombsite of a kitchen, we only had to deal with three cranky overtired Littles.
Then we could sit, drink beer, eat chips and watch the All Blacks beat the Wallabies with some healthy trans-Tasman banter, knowing that we were done for the night.
So, is it OK to lower my expectations to take the pressure off, or was I just being plain lazy?
Either way, I have to save this Devil of Nigella's for another day...