We've been on vacation for a week now, and by today everyone has settled into a rhythm. It's not the same rhythm made from the 60-hour beast of work, but instead it's something that's more familiar and intimate with each other. Today we made the vegan beet cupcakes. It was after a full on melt down from the Rutabaga, which I think was really him trying to say, "Mom, I don't want to share your attention. Can we just stay home and not go see friends today?" but it didn't come out of his mouth in quite such a coherent, direct way. So, we stayed home, played some Go Fish, and then decided to make cupcakes. These were on my mind to make, and the beets were roasted and ready to go.
The best part of it was that in the middle of the process I decided to let go of the need to minimize the mess. I stopped myself from saying things like, "but doing it that way will be really messy, so don't." Instead I opened up to letting him explore and create. From this, I watched as he took the measuring spoons and used them to spoon the batter into each cupcake liner. Drips, drops, splatter. Didn't matter. He was a digger moving the batter into the cupcake tin. It made my heart sing to watch his confidence and coordination as he filled the wells and figured out which needed more batter. Then he tried to lick the spoon before the bowl was empty. It was a good instinct, the batter was tasty.
The mess was easy enough to clean up and I feel like it was a good life lesson to take back from vacation with me. Let in the mess and the exploration more, sometimes you may even get sprinkles at the end.
Postscript: The cupcake's crumb was excellent. It was moist and spongey, which is rare for a vegan cupcake. The flavor was good, but slightly bitter in that way that unsweetened chocolate can be. I thought they were interesting and unusual, but I don't think that I will make them again. Although I am still staring down a full tupperware of roasted beets, so I might still.