For my daughter's sixth birthday, Patrick bought her the ultimate gay uncle gift: an Easy Bake Oven. He even bought her a variety pack of mixes to make cookies and cakes.
She loved it! And she loved even more that he helped her make herself a birthday cake.
Since then, the Easy Bake Oven has spent the majority of its life high on a shelf in her closet. As Uncle Patrick learned while trying to bake with her, it is a very frustrating prospect, best saved for special occasions.
My husband recently helped her bake a Back to School Oreo cookie cake with her oven. Then he shoved the oven high on a shelf in our closet, in hopes that she would forget she had it for a while.
Besides, her closet (and her entire bedroom) was so messy at the time, that he couldn't have navigated her room to stow the oven, even if he wanted to. Which is why, when she broke some major rules this past weekend, she was sent to her room to clean as part of her punishment.
My son cleaned his room too, because, well, he enjoys it. After a half hour or so, he called me up to inspect his room. After bestowing my approval upon the boy who will now forever be known as "the good one" (just kidding) I knocked on my daughter's door to check out her progress.
Whenever I knock and then hear major banging around before I hear a "come in" I know I am not going to be pleased.
The first thing I noticed, was the crusty stuff on her face.
"What did you eat?" I asked her.
"Then what's all that stuff on your face?" I wanted to know.
"I don't know. I can't see my face, you know," she sassed back.
She was in for it now.
"Honey!" My voice started to rise. "What did you eat? It's all over your face. And your shirt!"
"Are you really going to lie to me?" I asked her in a calm voice.
That usually gets her.
"No, Mommy. I ate something."
She didn't have to even tell me what she had eaten, because all of a sudden I knew. There was a light-colored powder all over the carpet and there were open packages lying next to the mess.
"You ate your Easy Bake Oven mixes, didn't you?"
I had been in such a good mood, but in that moment, I knew I had to walk away. Sometimes it is best to give yourself a time out.
"Kiddo, I'm going to close this door and walk away before I blow up at you. I'd advise you, though, to clean up this mess, and your self before you even think of coming out of this room."
You know, eating what I assumed was an entire twelve pack of bakery mixes is one thing. Lying to me about it is something else entirely.
The rest of our weekend was filled with lectures and punishments (because her misbehaving and lying didn't stop at the Easy Bake Oven mix on her floor).
By Monday, her room was pretty clean. Not perfect, but better than she usually ever accomplishes on her own. We had thrown away the remaining mix and I had vacuumed her carpet. I sent her to her room on Monday afternoon to do her homework and get ready for violin practice.
While she was playing Perpetual Motion for about the thousandth time, I noticed something on her face.
"What's on your face?" I asked her. But I immediately stopped myself. "We'll talk about it after violin practice."
When she snapped her violin case shut I asked her again. "What's on your face?"
"Come here." I wiped at the spot with my thumb. This seemed all too familiar.
"Did you...? Is this...? Honey! Did you eat your Easy Bake Oven Mix again?"
"Really? Do we need to have another talk about lying again?"
"No, Mommy. I ate it."
I couldn't imagine where she had gotten it from. "Did you lick it up off the floor?"
Much crying and yelling ensued. It wasn't until I had calmed down the next day and was hanging up her laundry for her that I found a hidden stash of mix in a crack between her shelves.
You'd think we never fed her!
For the rest of this week, she's getting lettuce for dinner.