I don’t know how to bake, but I try to do any reasonable activity that makes my daughter happy. So when my 2 1/2 year old told me that she needed to make Mommy a rainbow cake for her birthday (thanks Daniel Tiger), I had visions of us becoming covered in flour like the punchline of an old sitcom joke. Regardless of the impending doom, the cake was going to happen. I could have bought a rainbow cake, and my daughter would have gotten over the fact that we didn’t make one pretty quick. However, I view these kinds of requests as a great opportunity to do an activity with my daughter that I know she is excited about.
With our modern packed lives, it’s important to remember that our kids want one thing more than anything else. They want to spend time with us, and especially if that time is doing things they enjoy. This sole activity of baking a cake with dad kept her happy for about two weeks before we baked. She talked about getting the colors and the sprinkles. Then she went on about how much mommy would love the cake. It was awesome seeing her so excited. Furthermore, it let me get her to talk about a topic in depth (other than Frozen). I did my research too, and learned how to bake enough that I wouldn’t screw up a cake mix. By the time we were ready to bake, I had a reasonable amount of confidence in our ability to create a colorful and edible concoction.
So yesterday we baked. We got covered in flour, and made a mess of the kitchen. My daughter helped create all the colors, stirred the mix, and stole some cake batter when she got the chance. In the end we made a pretty decent little cake, and my wife loved it because of it being homemade. Do I love baking? No. However, I do love seeing my daughter happy, and I love spending time with her. If that means I have to get covered in flour sometimes, that seems like a fair price to pay.