2M Grandma Teaches RG How to Make Chocolate Cupcakes
June 30, 2007
It’s morning. You are not at your best. You’re having a bad hair day. The dishes haven’t been put in the dishwasher. The baby is whimpering, and the cat is getting ready to scratch the furniture.
The doorbell rings. You open the door. A famous face looks at you. Her “posse” stands respectfully behind her. Her famous voice addresses you:
“Good morning. I’m sorry to disturb you—” (she smiles, a smile that doesn’t quite reach those famous frosty blue eyes) “but we had engine problems in my private jet, and we had to make an emergency landing in the field over there, and we have a television show we have to film this morning, so I will need to borrow your kitchen to use for filming. You will be recompensed—James, my checkbook, please—and we’ll have to clean up a little bit—Miriam, please load the dishwasher. Of course, you will need to do something with the cat [who is hissing] and the child [who is starting to scream in terror], perhaps they can go visit the neighbor. Oh, and my hairdresser will try to do something with your hair…”
Well, Martha Stewart would not use your kitchen, even if it were in tiptop shape, because she just likes to use her own stuff—who can blame her? (besides everyone who is not Martha Stewart) and even though Mrs. Random is much nicer and more charming than Martha Stewart, when Random Granddaughter was asked what she wanted to do with Grandma on Wednesday, and said, “I want her to help me make chocolate cupcakes,” Mrs. Random got a distressed expression on her face, though perhaps I was the only one to notice it.
Even though Random Daughter’s kitchen (which is also Out of Law Partner’s kitchen as well, of course) is a perfectly nice kitchen, and all the dishes were clean, and everything is arranged very neatly and efficiently, it is not Mrs. Random’s kitchen, and the oven’s temperature is off in a different way than Mrs. Random’s oven (which she is used to, and it pays attention to her when she snarls at it, and the cupcake pan has slightly different size cupcake cups—something that you might not notice—but might throw the cupcakes off—nevertheless, Mrs. Random smiled (a genuine smile) at RG and said, “Of course, I would love to help you make cupcakes.”
So while I took the car to the car doctor because it had become a traveling condominium, Mrs. Random and RG made chocolate cupcakes. RG followed instructions very well. At one point, she asked her grandma, “Did your grandma teach you how to make cupcakes?”
“No,” her grandma said. “My Mommy taught me how to make cupcakes. Then I taught my daughter, who is your Mama, how to make cupcakes.”
RG, who is 3 years old, got a little confused about all the generations. Mrs. Random was explaining about grandma’s grandma, and the like, but family trees are perhaps a four year old thing. For that matter, grandpa can hardly wait until RG is in first grade, and perhaps brings some cupcakes she made to “Show and Tell” and then starts telling the class about her family tree while she’s at it, “Well, there’s Mama (Random Daughter) and Mommy (who kept me in her tummy until I was born, and then [dad] who is called a sperm donor though he visits me and buys me treats, and Grandma Random who showed me how to make cupcakes, and Grandpa Random, who is crazy, and Grandma B2, who is my sperm donor’s mother, and Grandma B1 who is now married to Grandpa K who is my step-grandfather, and Grandpa A who is my birth Grandpa, but he’s married to Grandma J, who is my step-grandma, because Grandma B1 and Grandpa A were divorced—how many of you have parents who were divorced?—raise your hands,”and at that point, the first grade teacher will say, “Thank you very much, RG, that was very nice, but we should give someone else a chance to show and tell as well.” RG would then be followed by the little boy who shows how to roll a joint and tells about how his daddies grow marijuana plants in their basement under plant lights.
Anyway, the cupcakes were prepared, and put in the oven, and even though Mrs. Random doesn’t trust the temperature control on her daughter’s oven, the cupcakes looked fine when they took them out of the oven. Then Mrs. Random said, “We need to let the cupcakes cool before we can put the frosting on, so you should take your nap while we let the cupcakes cool.”
Mrs. Random didn’t say it, but she was very nervous whether RG could get herself calm enough to take a nap while she was thinking about putting frosting on the cupcakes, but RG surprised her. She insisted on rushing upstairs to take her nap, and while rushing and going to sleep are not two phrases one normally puts in the same sentence, especially one involving three year old girls, RG did just that. She rushed upstairs, popped herself into her bed, and in no time at all was fast asleep.
When RG woke up from her nap and she really did take a nap—she didn’t just pretend to take one—she came downstairs to frost the cupcakes. However, an alert Grandma noticed that RG was getting weary of household tasks after frosting one cupcake, and that her attention span for domestic chores had perhaps been exceeded, so after RG had frosted one cupcake, wise grandma thought maybe it was time for a little girl to eat one cupcake, which she did with great enjoyment of a well-earned reward.
At that point, Grandma thought that maybe RG was a little restless and bored. Later that evening, as they were going home on the ferry, Mrs. Random told me, “OP (Out of Law Partner) is a teacher, and she knows all these songs and games and activities to amuse a child, and I just don’t know that kind of stuff.”
I told Mrs. Random, “RG was very happy and pleased to show her cupcakes to her Mommies that evening when they got home. You are a wonderful Grandma, and you should stop beating up on yourself for not being the Martha Stewart of Grandmas. In fact, you are probably a much better Grandma than Martha Stewart. If RG had to spend a day with Martha Stewart, they would probably both be having a meltdown by the end of the day.”