Having brothers was one of the best preparations for having sons. My mom still tells a story from when my oldest brother was in the neighborhood of fourth or fifth grade. (Keep in mind that this was in the 1980's, during the heyday of G.I. Joe action toys.) Apparently one day in Sunday school, the teacher thought that it would be a great idea to help the boys make a Christmas present for their mothers. Good idea, right? The boys were provided with those little wooden shape that you can purchase at Michael's or Hobby Lobby, paints, and brushes. The boys were allowed to choose between shapes of Christmas wreaths or bells, paint them as desired, and string a ribbon on them to make an ornament. I don't think she even bothered with glitter or anything, knowing that young boys would refuse such "girly" ideas... At the end of the session more than one boy proudly presented their mother with a Christmas bell ornament--painted camouflage style, so the ornaments could "hide" in the trees! Just what every Mom wants, right? :)
Valentine's Day rolled around this year and I was excited about the idea of making cookies with Ryan. He loves to cook and help. I also thought it would be a fun idea to make cookies as valentine's gifts for grandparents and aunts. Perhaps I should have remembered the whole camouflage Christmas bells a little more clearly...
Not having a sugar cookie recipe that I'm pleased with and not having time to look around for another one, I simply bought a log of pre-made sugar cookie dough. Ryan was so excited to help me and bounced with excitement as I pulled out the stepladder for him. We opened the box with cookie cutters in it and I started to reach for the heart shaped ones. One thought that crossed my mind was to grab the hand-shaped cookie cutter and use the idea of hand-shaped sugar cookies made my Ryan's little hands. But it was not to be. Ryan picked that shape up, unceremoniously tossed it back into the box, and grabbed the airplane and dinosaur shapes! With a little pleading I managed to retain a few heart shapes.
So I had anticipated a lovely, mommy and son bonding time of making red valentine's day cookies. What I ended up with was a loud, raucous, messy, thrilling experience full of giggling and laughing making blue airplanes, green dinosaurs, and a few pink hearts. And it was even more fun than I had originally planned on. And you know what? The grandparents certainly didn't care whether they had a heart or an airplane. The cookies were so yummy that they didn't stay around long enough for me to take a picture.