Last night I was a bit distracted, a bit busy, crocheting slippers for the birthday of the gorgeous boy of one of my best friends. He asked for orange and pink, which just filled me with joy, such gorgeous colours! I really wanted to get as much done as possible, to give them to him by the end of the week, so I was focussed and not really interacting with Indigo, and she didn't like it. Usually she is more than happy to play with Mat for hours and hours, but last night, even though he was right there, she kept coming up to me, bringing me books for her to read, placing toys on my lap, asking for a breastfeed when she'd only recently had one. I could tell she was a little unsettled that I was there, but not there for her.
At first I thought to myself, it's good for her to know I'm not there 100% of the time, it's good for her to realise I'm a separate person with my own desires and goals. But after a while I could tell it was getting to her, and I decided we needed a little connection. So I suggested to her that we place a tablecloth on the floor, get out the flour, eggs, sugar, vanilla, butter and coconut and make a cake together. Her whole face transformed into joy, and she clapped her hands and shouted "Yay!" So the table cloth went onto the floow, and I left her with a bowl into which I had cracked two eggs - she likes to play with the raw egg, letting it slip through her fingers and picking up the yolk, eventually piercing it and mixing the oozy contents with the white. It kept her occupied while I got everything ready. Then in another bowl we combined butter and sugar, and stopped to taste. She declared it good. You can't really go wrong with butter and sugar! Then we added coconut, and tasted again. We looked into eaah others eyes and nodded as we tasted, and Mat gave a third opinion, still really really good. Splash in the vanilla, the flour, some baking powder and the eggs, and a bit of soy milk, and now it was time to use the mixer!
A few months ago I bought a bright orange retro hand mixer on ebay and Indi and I both love it! We both hold the handle together while she switches it on, and then we watch the wonderful swirly patterns form in the cake batter as we mix away. Mesmerised, we probably mix more than we need to. Then together we poured the mixture into the lined cake tin and together we placed the tin in the oven. As we waited for the cake to cook, she played happily, her cup now filled as we had been connected through cake.
I'm so glad Indigo's old enough to get that we need to actually cook the cake - it always ended badly when she realised she wasn't getting cake right away and cried and cried as I put it into the oven. Half an hour later she came up to me just as I pulled the delicious golden dome out of the oven, and asked if it was cooked. And it was, to perfection. I smeared some butter on top, and dusted it with cinnamon and sugar, and cut us some generous wedges.
There are lots of ways that Indigo and I connect when we're in need of a bit of closeness, lying in bed and tickling, singing songs, going into the garden and searching for snails and slaters, picking vegies in the garden, crafting - the list goes on... but baking a cake together is the tastiest one for sure.
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