By Lisa Dovichi
I had a yen for chocolate, 3ft had a yen for chocolate, and the Grumpybutt ALWAYS has a yen for chocolate so we decided it’d be fun to bake some chocolate cupcakes. Normally, I do all my baking from scratch and by myself but the mini-me’s wanted to help so I chose to cheat and bought a box of chocolate cake mix and frosting. Shhh, don’t tell anyone. I thought I had an idea of what I was getting myself into (thus the box) but really I had NO idea!
3ft, my six-year-old, was in charge of cracking eggs. He did a great job, but I’m not going to lie, we had to play ‘fish the eggshell out of the batter’. In the future when 3ft tells me he’s an egg cracking professional I will have him show off his skills in a separate bowl and not straight into the other ingredients.
The Grumpybutt, my year-and-a-half-year-old was in charge of peeling the wrapper off the butter and putting it in the bowl for beating. Yes, there were a couple of bites missing out of the block by the time he was done but I swear the cake didn’t miss them. I had to fish out some butter wrapper too, but not out of the batter, out of the Grumpybutt’s mouth instead -- apparently his first bite was before he took off the wrapper.
On to the mixing. 3ft told me he was also a professional mixer so I let him hold the mixer. He cranked that puppy up to 12. And after we cleaned up the explosion of cake batter off the counters AND cupboards and salvaged what we could, he didn’t have any more problems. (Note to self: 3ft might be full of bologna when it comes to what he’s a pro at doing.)
At that point, I was just hoping we’d have enough batter to fill a cupcake pan so I gave each boy a beater so I could quickly fill the cups before anything else happened. As I’m filling the cups, I noticed that the Grumpybutt is emptying them as fast as I am filling them. He’d climbed back up onto the stool and was dipping his beater as fast as he could for more chocolate -- the little ingenious weasel. I pulled him off the stool and set him back on the floor when 3ft insisted the Grumpybutt had more batter than him so he climbed up and started dipping his beater into the bowl.
What could I do? That’s right, what anyone else would do: give up. I gave them the bowl, a spoon, and a spatula. Out of a mix that was supposed to make 24 cupcakes we only got 12. It was worth it though I’ve never laughed so hard or seen chocolate smiles so big. They had a chocolatey blast and I’ve got pictures to blackmail them with when they’re older.