To mark the kid’s Christmas holidays, I splashed out on a ‘make your own Gingerbread House’ from Spinneys.
Every time we went shopping in run up to Christmas they would flock to the Ginergbread House boxes neatly stacked on the shelves, and ‘ooh and aaah’ over them as if they were as cool the latest Moshi Monsters or GoGos, or other bit of plastic that casts a marketing spell over kids.
‘AED70 (Euros15)….hmmmm….a rip off for a house that was probably incapable of being constructed to match the perfectly decorated ‘Hansel and Gretel’ house on the front of the box’, I thought. My usual reaction to their pleas was to look disinterested, gently shake my head, all whilst making a beeline for fruit section.
DD would always complain that I was a ‘meany’ Mummy, and I always say ‘no’ to their requests (read demands!)…..Not wanting to be remembered as the Grinch who refused to buy the Gingerbread House (and therefore have to fork out for future hours on a therapist’s couch), but moreso to prove DD wrong, I secretly slipped one of the mesmerising boxes into the trolley!
Yesterday evening was the first chance we had to construct this house. It looked easy enough; I am usually quite good at assembling things, even without instructions (courtesy of many hours assembling IKEA furniture in the days when IKEA did not offer a home assembly service!).
‘This shouldn’t take long’, I thought.
I prepared the icing ‘cement’ and got to work. Within minutes DD pointed out that I was using the roof parts as the walls. Hmmmm…….embarrassed and blaming incoherent instructions (courtesy of years of listening to DH’s excuses for not being able to assemble IKEA products!), I corrected my error and continued with my project…..I fiddled, I fumbled, I fussed. I tried to hold 4 pieces with 2 hands whilst applying more sticky icing. Each time I let go of one side, it collapsed. I was having more success sticking the house parts to my hands than to each other. Once I rescued a side, the other side caved.
A string of mumbled swear words slipped out. I made a mental note to stick with ‘no’ when I say it to my kids! Despite a very strong urge to fling the entire thing against the kitchen wall, I persevered; my kid’s impending excitement spurring me on. Seriously, I think Dubai managed to erect the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, in less time, and with a lot less effort (and swear words)!
Finally, when I had the walls up and steady, I attempted to put on the roof. Looking back, I should have used less force. My sausage fingers, as DH calls them, were not built for the delicate operation of assembling something so fine. One push with my index finger, and the whole thing came crashing down; just like in the story of the 3 little pigs. I may as well have huffed and puffed…
My kids….they were expecting a perfectly constructed house which they could decorate with all the E-number-candy they could lay their hands on……I hoped they would settle for decorating 2 walls, 2 gable ends and a roof! Oh, why not just cut to the chase, and let them eat the remaining icing, and candy straight from the bag! I could never again be accused of being a ‘meany’ Mummy, could I?!!!
DS1 has just asked if I can help him construct his Millenium Falcon lego he got from Santa……the Gingerbread House experience is still too raw. Daaaaaadddddyyyy………..DS1 needs you!