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Baking with Children When Tired. AKA Hell.

In my ideal unschooling world, baking and cooking in general are used to learn all kinds of things from maths to science to expressions of love.

In my real unschooling world, baking and cooking are used to teach my kids the warning signs of Mama Is Losing the Plot, followed closely by actual Mama is Losing the Plot.

We made Lemon Curd this morning. Just so you know how fabulous I am, I’m going to mention that it was refined sugar free lemon curd. And it turned out freaking awesome. Which is just as well because when you’re using 6 eggs for something you’ve never made before, and are tweaking the recipe, it’s a huge gamble.

But, we all had a really late night last night. The kids accompanied Ron to a gig at the Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival, which they loved (so much so that the reviewer mentioned them in this review) but they didn’t get home til after 10. And, Louis loves getting up in the morning to have a coffee with Ron before he leaves for work, so he was still up at 7-ish.

I was part of a seminar on Natural Wellness in Children last night and I LOVE public speaking but seem to suffer from post-speaking-anxiety about whether I was a total tool, so spent much of the night lying in bed wondering about my level of tool-ness. If I ever speak at an event with you, just let me know whether I was a tool at the end of the night so that I can stop obsessing about it.

We were tired. And, somehow, I forgot to eat breakfast. And the kids were lethargic. And we have heaps of lemons. So, I decided to try and make sugar-free lemon curd. And get the kids involved in something. They were totally into it. We each had a job: I zested the lemons, Louis cut them in two, Joss squeezed them. Until I turned to get the butter out of the fridge and Louis got a hold of the zester and was zesting the pith into the bowl. In my tired moment I was totally freaked out about the bitterness of the pith and was far from gentle in my tone. As soon as the words were out of my mouth I wanted to stuff them back in. I saw the look on his face, the eyes darting from me to the lemon to the floor, and the plaintive, “Sorry Mama.”

I thought about how much these moments shape their enthusiasm or lack thereof to be involved in family chores, in the business of being a family, in family business.

The Continuum Concept describes the Yequana as a people who have no concept of “work” everything is “play”. I know that when I’m not in a good space and work is really hard, the kids shy away from being involved with me. When I’m in a good space, when there’s music on and I’m grooving, when the wooden spoon is my microphone and I am Jennifer Grey, they love it, and they help effortlessly and life feels a bit more connected.

I’m predicting baked beans on (gluten free) toast for dinner and an early night with lots of snuggles and reading.

All peppered with moments behind the fridge door eating lemon curd out of the jar with a tablespoon.

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