I charged for the front door, hoping Mom wouldn’t catch me. “Bye, I’m going out!” I called.
“Not yet,” Mom stepped out of the kitchen just in time to cut me off. “First you have to do something out of your Cub Scout book.”
“What?” I whined. “I can do that later.”
“you’ve been a Bear now for six months, and we haven’t done a thing in here,” Mom picked up the book and started flipping through the pages. She sighed and held it out in front of my face. “Here, you read through this and find something you’d like to do.”
Scowling, I sat down at the kitchen table. I turned page after page. Too hard. Too boring. Hard and boring… wait, what was this?
“Hey, Mom, can we make cookies?”
“Cookies?” Mom asked.
“Yeah, look here. We can make cookies.”
Mom took the book, nodding. “Okay, my sister posted a recipe on her blog I want to try. We can do that. I have time. Great. Go wash your hands.”
When I came back in the kitchen, Mom was getting the sugar down from the cupboard. She handed me a sheet of paper with a picture of beautiful round cookies with mounds of white frosting and colored sprinkles on top. “Read this recipe,” Mom said.
“Do I have to do it all by myself?” I asked. There were, it looked like, twenty ingredients!
“No,” Mom said. “I’m going to help you.”
Mom showed me how to push the buttons on the control panel of the oven to start it heating up.
“Now we need to soften the butter in the microwave,” Mom took some butter out of the fridge and peeled off the white paper wrapper. “You watch it through the window and the moment it starts to melt, you tell me.”
“Why can’t you watch it?” I asked.
“Because I’m getting out the ingredients, and putting dishes in the dishwasher, and getting ready to cook dinner. Do you want to do all that instead so I can watch the butter?”
The microwave hummed and the butter turned around and around on its plate. Nothing was happening. Nothing at all. Then, all of a sudden…
“Mom! MOM! The butter!” I yelled. It was caving in.
“Well, push the button! Turn off the Microwave!”
The butter wasn’t entirely melted. Mom scraped it into the mixing bowl.
Then she got out a measuring cup and showed me how to scoop in the flour, then level it off with a knife.
“Like this?” I asked, sending a cloud of flour into the air.
“Yes,” Mom said, trying to be patient, “Except over the flour bag, please.” She went to get the broom and dust pan.
Mom let me put the ingredients, one by one, into the mixing bowl. “Hold the spoon over the bowl when you pour the vanilla… wait! You have to pour it slow!”
It was too late. I looked down at the big, dark brown puddle of vanilla that surrounded the mound of flour at the bottom of the bowl, with the melted butter and the egg yolks floating in it. “Sorry.”
“It’ll be okay,” Mom said. “Now, use that knob to turn on the machine… stop! We have to put the lid on first!”
A cloud of flour filled the kitchen. Mom went to get the broom and dust pan again.
The cookie dough smelled really good. Mom showed me how to drop spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet. Hers looked nice and round. Mine were kind of slug-shaped. I couldn’t figure out how she got them to fall off the spoon in little round balls.
After Mom put the pans in the oven, she said I could go.
When Dad got home, the cookies were done and cooling on the table. “They’re kind of strong,” Dad said when he tried one.
“It’s just vanilla,” Mom said.
The cookies didn’t exactly look like the picture on the recipe. “Can we do the frosting and sprinkles?” I asked.
“No,” Mom said.