Thursday, December 17, 2009

Relinquishing Control

I can admit that when it comes to making something, I am quite anal (or concrete sequential as some might say) about the process and end product. Everything must be done a certain way. (Usually following directions.) And everything must look a certain way when it is finished. This is probably why I am better at crosstitching then sewing; one you just make a whole bunch of little x's—the other you need real skill.

Anyway, I like to make Christmas sugar cookies each year. It lets the kids create and I can work on finding a good recipe (note to self: the one you used this year...not so great). In previous years, I would frost the cookies then help the children with the sprinkles. This probably wasn't as fun for the kids, but it did get the result I desired.

I'm not proud of my micro-managing, so I decided to let it go this year. I helped the kids cut shapes out of the dough, we baked, and then I put everything on the table...sprinkles, frosting, gel writers, you name it. I put in on the table, gave a few simple instructions and let them go. Yep, I dropped those baby birds right out of the nest and they flew amazingly well.

Granted, the end result was not what I would have done...but that is probably a good thing. I think they all turned out fabulous.

I did use more of the ones I decorated for the neighbors we caroled to, but the children were happy to keep their own creations to sample. (Isn't reverse psychology wonderful sometimes?)

In the end I was happy with the whole experience. I will probably do it the same way next year and the kids are just going to get better at decorating (meaning I hope they don't waste as many sprinkles and gel icing). And this is a step in the right direction for me. I think relinquishing a little control is not so bad.


Deanne said...

They did a fabulous job! I know what you mean about relinquishing control. When the moms are able to do that, the kids shine (even though the kitchen doesn't). Good job!

Desmama said...

Those look great! My kids frosted cookies two days this week with friends and they have like an inch of frosting on them and the red frosting makes the snowmen look like they were massacred. Awesome. Definitely not going to the neighbors with those this year. I'm pretty anal too but I've realized that particular character trait doesn't mesh so well with motherhood so I just shut my mouth (and eyes, sometimes) and start envisioning a mop and lots of wet rags. And happy kids. ;)

Kayla said...

I am TOTALLY the same way about needing control of things. Good for you to let it go and let the kids have some fun...and learn a few decorating skills at the same time. The cookies do look pretty good by the way, especially considering the 4 little ones are the chefs! Good cookies and happy kids sounds like a pretty successful activity! :)

CTR Superheroes said...

The cookies look great and look at those smiles - defintely worth it :) I've tried several recipes too and here's my favorite - because the cookies are so soft (maybe you can try them next year) -
Old-Fashioned Soft Sugar Cookies
3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 ½ c. sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
½ c. butter
½ c. sour cream

Mix flour, soda and salt; set aside, then combine remaining ingredients and beat 2 minutes. Next, add flour mixture and stir well. Roll out ¼ inch thick on floured surface. Cut desired shapes and place on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool, then ice.

*these cookies spread more than other kinds so try to leave space for that :)

Rachel said...

Maleen, you are my hero! Our big baking project this year was a gingerbread house and I had to exercise the same (new to me) skill that you did. The kids had so much fun and I just sat back and took pictures (eventually they'll make their way to the blog). Merry Christmas!!!

Nelle said...

I have a great sugar cookie recipe I use every year...when I'm home I'll email it to you. The cookies look great and it looked like they had so much fun.

Heather A said...

I totally understand how you feel. It is sometimes hard to just let kids do things. Especially because you know they won't turn out perfectly, it will take 3 (or maybe even 5 times as long) and there will also be a bigger mess to clean up. I have also been trying to let my kids do and experience things on their own without so much micromanaging on my part. Sometimes I do this better than others!

Have a great Christmas!

The Simpson Times said...

I understand the micro-managing thing to a certain extent too...I guess we have to just let go of the control and let them make a mess (of the house and the cookies)! I have a GREAT sugar cookie recipe - best I've ever tried, I can get it to you sometime!

¡Vieve! said...

Yum I want some of those cookies-they look delicious in the pictures