When the children sent me to my room this morning, it was with a heavy heart that I went. Now, don't get me wrong, usually getting sent to my room is the greatest of delights. So, what made this morning different? Well, it's my story, and I will tell you.
It all started with my road of good intentions. I had gone to the kitchen in search of an apple to start my healthy day. Today being Saturday, everyone was just loafing around without our usual hustle and bustle. When the children saw me, Austin suggested that I should return to my room and soon they would present me with a wonderful surprise. That is when the sinking feeling started. A wonderful surprise that I couldn't be witness to? That never ends well. I took my apple, a small portion of the healthy breakfast that I had intended, and slunk back to my room. I turned on the TV to try to mask the sounds of the mixer, the crazy giggling, the occasional outburst of, "Oh, No!", and my personal favorite, "Cooper, Get down". The TV turned out to be an ineffective diversion as Erika came in every 3 minutes to tell me that they were not making pie. What a relief! Except that I was pretty sure that she was not being entirely honest since I could hear an argument in the kitchen that sounded like this, "No, we can't make the pancakes. We'll have to make the pie".
After about 45 minutes, Austin came in to tell me that it would be at least another hour because the recipe said that the filling had to chill for an hour. Recipe? Chill? I was not aware of any pie recipe that would require chilling for which I had the ingredients. The sinking feeling was becoming more and more pronounced. Since my surprise wouldn't be ready in time to feed my starving body, I asked permission to go make my breakfast. Austin cheered right up and said he would get me some food. I thought I heard something about cooking broccoli as he walked down the hall. Good, the day would not descend into completely unhealthy eating. A few minutes later, Austin returned with what he called, "The Brigham Young University Power Drink". I think that this had more to do with the cup it was contained in than any actual affiliation with the school. I believe it consisted of milk, peanut butter, and a whole lot of Splenda. Trying to drink it through the crazy straw sticking out of the top was like trying to drink peanut butter through a crazy straw. It was sweet enough to power all of Brigham Young University. After the requisite "chilling hour", in which I did very little chilling, I was invited out to enjoy my surprise. What wasn't a surprise was what had filled me with unspoken dread, the mess that I found in my kitchen. Surprise, Mom!
And what delightful surprise had my children lovingly prepared for their favorite Mommy? Berry pie. The ingredients were: berries, Splenda, water, and ..... wait for it ..... butter, all topped with sheets of graham crackers. I confess that I was a little puzzled. I thought that he had said there was a recipe behind this project. When asked, Austin said that the recipe had come from the back of the Splenda bag. Thinking that the butter was probably supposed to be used with the graham crackers to make the crust, I read the recipe. There was no mention of butter anywhere. I wondered, out loud, why they had decided to put butter in what would otherwise have been a delightful berry blend. Austin said, "The recipe called for G-elatin (strong g). Isn't butter the same as G-elatin?" As I explained that gelatin was what Jell-O is made from and doesn't really have a lot in common with butter, Austin expressed the same sad conclusion that was racing through my mind, "That's the trouble with trying a new recipe without Mom's help".