I try hard so awfully hard to be helpful, for it is baking day for Mummy. My big sisters are playing outside in the yard, they are finishing their games of skipping and tree-climbing. I am too little do these fun things with them. They both go to big school, but it is now holiday time, the Easter Bunny will come soon, I think. I go to little school two days a week, and I don’t get a holiday, Miss Sampson looks after me and the other little ones that go. My Mummy is heavily pregnant with my brother, but we don’t think he will be along any time soon.
The girls enter and see that our kitchen is full of life and our energy and excitement. They now want to help us cook, they get jealous when I have alone time with Mummy. They are instructed to wash up after their outside play and make sure that they leave all the outside dirt and germs outside. They have to ensure that they have clean faces and hands to Mummy’s standard. They can then put on their pretty pink frilly helping aprons.
The eat-in kitchen has the laminate table in the centre, it is spread with all the necessary ingredients and utensils, much more than we all need. The girls enter the room singing their hand-washing song which they created, they ask for a job.
Being the eldest, six and a half, Daria is allowed to do all the mixing. She gets much encouragement and assistance from Maisie, she is five now, and Mummy lets her help.
Daria holds the large bowl in what appears to be a hug, her arms just make it around. Maisie holds it steady whilst Maria starts to stir the contents, trying to get the dry bits wet. The girls take turns holding the bowl steady and mixing the contents. Bits and pieces fly from the bowl and go everywhere landing on the table, chairs, floor, and their faces. All of us laugh heartily, as we are having so much fun creating, and mess can be cleaned up easily afterwards. Mummy loves how we all help and laugh with joyous sounds.
Once the mix is more solid, Mummy picks up the dough with one hand, and rolled from a ball, she pounds it flat with her closed hands. She had sprinkled powdery flour onto the table, she tells us that this makes the dough roll easily, and does not stick to the table or our hands. We giggle at the mess she made. Next I am passed the rolling pin and awkwardly I hold it for it is longer than my arms. I am tippy toeing on my helping stool to be able to reach over the table, with Mummy to help steady me. I know I won’t topple off with support me from behind. Four hands and arms roll back and forth until together we have rolled it flattened, nicely and evenly.
Next, we are passed the box of cookie cutter shapes. I being the littlest get to go first, choosing my favourite one, I guess all of mine will be this shape, I won’t swap. My sisters will probably try to make one of each shape and they can them share them. They like to share, they like each other to have a try of each other’s things, foods, clothes, toys, and games.
There are many different styles, metal designs, each with a sharpish edge which we are reminded to be careful and pick it up from the top blunted, rounded edge.
There are a triangle, a Christmas tree, a fish, a dog, a car, and many more, to say, but I have grabbed the one I wanted and have now press it ever-so-neatly into the dough.
Mummy helps me to remove it, so that I don’t make a mess or spoil the shape it makes in our flattened dough. We continue until there is no more space on my rolled out dough, I made use of it all, leaving very little room between them. I had to put the cutter into different directions to get the most from it all.
Mummy carefully removes the excess around my cookie shapes, so that we can still see them all, she counts them, twelve. I cannot count much yet. Then they are carefully and evenly placed onto the greased baking tray, and she dabs them with a little brush, with the shiny egg which has been cracked into a shallow dish.
My gigantic smile says to everyone that I am happy to see the tray so full and ready for the oven. We are reminded that only Mummies and Daddies should ever open the oven, as it is too ‘burny’ for us youngsters.
We move away and watch in excitement as the cookies are placed onto the middle shelf of the oven. Right where I can see them. That is apparently the best place to warm and cook them, as the heat can surround the cookies and they will be ready in a little while. The oven door is then shut and the warmth from within can start with its magic. I don’t know how it works but I am intrigued by it all.
I sit cross-legged in front of the oven at a safe distance as agreed. Through the glass door I can see my cookies and watch and wait patiently.
Now the girls are completing their trays with help, I hear them behind me, but I don’t take any notice, as I am watching this amazing show unfold before me, like a little private television program, just for me.
After a short while, I can see the cookies are getting bigger, fatter, and browner. I watch in total amazement, as they grow and double in size. I giggle with happiness and mirth. Soon I can hear Mummy check the cookies through the little window and announce to me, ‘almost ready’.
I smile with excitement; the anticipation is all too much for me.
I hear shoes clack the linoleum behind me and I know that Mummy is walking towards the oven, behind me. Soon she bends and I can feel her kiss me on the top of my head. I have not moved from my viewing spot, I had front row seats.
Mummy reaches for her duck-billed oven mitt, opens the oven door and as the warmth escapes and touches me, she lifts out my tray. Smiling to herself she places the hot cookie tray out of reach upon the sink to cool.
I grab my helping stool and run over and climb up to see the steaming cookies, my work. They are all as I had wanted them, shaped like stars.