This morning, I was reminded of an epic #fail. It was my dad’s birthday and my older brother and I wanted to bake him a cake, on our own – without adult supervision. We followed the recipe, careful not to get any eggshells in the batter. I was little, about five years old, and my brother was probably ten. We had never made a cake without help before, but we had watched our mother do it many times. It was great! It was one of the few times we worked on a project together without fighting until… the recipe called for vanilla extract. I excitedly jumped down from the counter and ran over to the lazy susan to retrieve the pure vanilla extract. I moved quickly and confidently, prepared to add the ingredient myself. My brother knew that we only needed a little and tried the grab the bottle from me. I didn’t want him to help me so I quickly poured it myself… a lot of it… and it wasn’t vanilla. It was green food coloring! Why did they make those bottles look so much alike? Frustrated with me, my brother called my mother for help. Not wanting to hurt my feelings, she assured us that everything would be fine. We continued pouring the batter into the cake pan and waited. After dinner, my mother carefully brought the cake to the table, covered in icing and candles blazing. Everyone began singing Happy Birthday. My dad blew out his candles, and then my mother cut into the cake. Before she pulled his slice out, she reminded him about how hard his children had worked to bake it, how proud we were to have completed the project together, how it’s the thought that counts, etc. He took one look at that cake and lost his appetite. He couldn’t even fake it! My mother held in her laughter as she cut slices for the rest of the family. It tasted just fine to me!
Anyway, I was reminded of this event today because my own daughter took it upon herself to make pancakes for the family this morning – without help. Until her trial at making pancakes, I had never noticed the similarities between vanilla extract and malt vinegar.
Living the JACK'd Life
I am a certified birth doula (BAI) in Charlotte, NC . I provide information and support to pregnant individuals and couples so they can have satisfying and empowering births. I am a married mother of 4 trying to navigate life, unafraid of sharing my truly JACK'd up missteps.