Chez Madeleine

Monday, October 16, 2006

teach your (friend's) children well


When I first adopted Madeleine, I read somewhere that I needed to spend 20 minutes per day petting her. That was easy at first, it was Summer, I was on hiatus from school, and she was so little she could practically fit in my pocket. But then, life got busier and I had less and less time every day to spend with her. Sometimes, I'd find myself saying to my friends, "I have to go home--gotta get my 20 minutes in with Madeleine today." They made fun of me for seeming to condense all of my quality time with my cat into that 20 minute period a day. I told myself that I was a good mother as long as I met my requisite responsibility.

Of course as time went on, my relationship with my cat became much more dynamic than 20 minutes per day. We sleep together-she at my feet. We watch tv together-she at my head. And she's usually not far when I'm paying bills or baking. But my point is that my life pretty much revolves around me.

So when Jen brought Elecia over on Saturday, I found myself in awe of the multiple bags she carried (video, chocolate milk, jacket, and who knows what else) and the sense of ultimate responsibility she had for the pig-tailed little one.

Elecia was at Chez Madeleine for a morning of baking. I'm trying to shape America's future one pre-schooler at a time. We made pumpkin breads--mini loaves to give to Elecia's teachers and grandparents.


Elecia perched on her stepstool in her "bubble apron" and approached the challenge with gusto. Hair pulled back and armed with a red plastic spoon ressurected from the Kool-Aid mixing days (it has the kool-aid face cut out of it), she added each ingredient carefully and mixed thoroughly. Sugar, Oil, Pumpkin, spices, eggs, flour, and baking soda and powder and salt.


We added chocolate chips at the end, and Elecia scooped the batter into the pans. While the loaves baked, Elecia charmed Madeleine. They chased each other around the loft in circles until they were both so tired there was nothing left to do but nap.


I wrapped the loaves up and added a note from Elecia.


As Elecia and Jen headed home for a peanut butter sandwich and a nap, I thought about the awesome responsibility of raising children. Curled up on the couch, I reached down and scratched Madeleine's neck and counted...20...19...18...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Elecia had so much fun yesterday! She wants to come back and visit Madeleine "again tomorrow." I sent her off today with 2 loafs -- one for Nana and one for her ballet instructor. Tomorrow it's her pre-school teachers' turn. Her favorite part was her mini-pumpkin. Thanks for a great day :)
- Jen (and Elecia)

9:16 AM  
Anonymous Uncle Jack said...

Why didn't you ship one of those loafs to me in Chicago?

Unc Jack

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, that is the cutest thing I've ever seen! Looks like a day well spent. :) Kate x

6:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How much do you charge for those lessons.....I've never been good with baking! Love the pigtails. Christianne

12:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only charge for the classes was providing Sarah with breakfast :)

4:17 PM  

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