(*Don’t Touch My Cookies originally appeared in the November 2012 edition of MomSense)
I handed each of my children a lump of gingerbread cookie dough and gave them carte blanche on cutting out and decorating. “But this,” I said, raising my own ball of dough like Scarlet O’Hara holing up a fistful of Tara, “this is mine.”
Maybe I’d been brainwashed by all those picture-perfect cookies flaunting themselves on the cover of the magazines in the grocery store but I was bound and determined to produce a collection of showcase cookies for when my family came on Christmas Day. Oh, I’d let people eat them of course, after they’d been sufficiently adored.
I helped the kids roll out their dough and plunked the cookie cutters on the table. While they fought over the snowman and the candy cane and the extraneous elephant, I carefully pressed out stars and bells- only stars and bells because those are the classy shapes. Pinterest-worthy cookie shapes.
Once baked and cooled, the kids slathered their misshapen figures with red and yellow and green icing while I hoarded the white and powder blue. I dotted the points of my star with white, spiraled out the center in blue, trimmed the bells in geometrical patterns and embellished with candy pearls. By jingles, I was good.
“Mom, the green won’t come out,” my son said and held out the Ziploc baggie stuffed with icing. I reached for a paring knife to expand the tiny corner hole but sliced through my thumb instead. Seconds later, I was holding my thumb under cold water.
“Just a little cut,” I assured my kids once I was washed and bandaged.
The cookie pile was mounting and the table space disappearing so I began to transfer my masterpieces to a plate, until I noticed one of my bells had a trace of red icing along the edge. I eyed my kids suspiciously. I told them not to touch my cookies. But after closer examination, I realized the red wasn’t icing. Horrified, I looked at my thumb. Blood had seeped through the band-aid and now a bloody thumbprint marred every singe cookie I had transferred. I let out a cry, which was good because what I really wanted to do was swear and throw them at the wall.
“We’ll share our cookies, Mom,” my little angels said as I tearfully slid my beauties into the garbage.
The family loved the kids’ cookies; the psychedelic colors, the cross-eyed gingerbread man, the elephant who was so desperately trying to fit in. They thought my six unscathed bells and stars were lovely, too, but clearly the kids’ cookies stole the show.
As it should be.
‘Tis the season for us moms to lighten up. Starting with me.