At first the making of bread seemed a very daunting task to be done while dealing with a toddler at my garment’s hem; and when looking at the experience from that perspective it most definitely is. The key to being the single mother of a toddler and baking a delicious loaf of bread however is this:
It seems like a simple concept to include your child, but it is easy to get swept away with the needs and wants of the household and simply deter the child urgently pulling at your pant-leg by directing her to the play kitchen or her baby dolls. Sometimes you need to bake with her though – not for her.
My favorite bread recipe is simple and requires no raw eggs or milk (which is a good thing when a tot’s little finger tips are involved). So with this in mind a few months ago I thought I was prepared for that very first baking session with my toddler. I pulled out all the ingredients I would need and littered the counter top with them, adding in a pretty vintage mixing bowl to quell my own aesthetic needs and desires.
So I measured and she poured; I stirred and she scooped; I kneaded and she pounded. It was a successful endeavor less one broken vintage mixing bowl lost somewhere between the scooping and the pounding, but the task at hand was soon complete and together we had created two lovely loaves of bread.
I had fashioned many loaves of bread before that day, but never had I felt so sated. Until that day, the presence of my child had come to change a once delighted task to somewhat of a hurried chore – stuffed somewhere in between the dishes and the laundry. On that day though, I felt empowered. I had survived and now could thrive. Breathe. Laugh at broken mixing bowls and that tiny little face beneath a coat of flour, dough and olive oil. Just be. And share the love and joys I’d once known well with that little love of mine.
~Amber Lee, mother of Eva Lorraine, from Huntsville, Alabama