“Yes! I was hoping you would make brownies for the bake sale,” Julianne said when she walked in the back door and smelled the brownies Mom had made for that night’s dessert.
“The bake sale. Remember?”
“What bake sale?”
“The one I told you about.”
Julianne jutted one hip out in that way that all teenaged girls seem to have perfected. “Mom, I know I told you about this last week.”
“Did you put it on the calendar?”
“Um … no. But I know I told you.”
“And you know there has to be a written record. If it’s not on the calendar, it doesn’t happen.”
“Right, because you’re too old and senile to remember anything.”
Mom reminded herself that beating her child on the head with a rolling pin was technically considered child abuse, and she could go to jail for child abuse. So, she restrained herself. “Actually, it’s so you don’t claim you told me, when in fact you never did.”
“I know I told you.”
“Is it on the calendar?”
Julianne glared at her mom. Mom met her gaze while doing her best impression of innocence: eyes wide, just a hint of a smile at the corners of her mouth, and eyebrows lifted expectantly.
After a moment, Julianne huffed and stomped out of the kitchen.
Mom went back to making dinner, and while she knew she shouldn’t feel guilty about forgetting the bake sale, she did anyway. Now that she thought about it, she did remember Julianne mentioning it. It wasn’t until tomorrow, so technically she still had time to throw together a few batches of brownies after dinner.
Mom and Julianne avoided talking to each other for the first half of the meal, and with Dad and the three other children at the table, that was easy enough. After Julianne had had a chance to relax a bit, Mom asked her how many brownies she needed for the bake sale.
“Enough for 3 dozen people,” Julianne said, perking up at the possibility of getting her way after all.
Mom nodded noncommittally, mentally calculating how long it would take her to make that many brownies. It would mean staying up late and missing her favorite TV show, but that’s what DVRs were made for.
“Are you going to make them?”
Mom raised her eyebrows at Julianne.
Mom sighed. “I suppose. If you help.”
“Oooh. I’d love to, but I have a huge bio project due tomorrow and a big history test I still have to study for.”
“I’ll help,” James, the youngest, piped up.
Mom smiled at him and a rush of gratitude washed over her as she tried to remind herself she wasn’t supposed to play favorites with her children. Did it count if one of them was a teenager? Wasn’t there some sort of exemption for teenagers?
“Think you’re ready to be in charge of melting the butter and chocolate?”
“All right. We’ll get started as soon as the dishes are done.”
But, of course, James ended up burning the butter and chocolate, so Mom had to go to the store for more butter and chocolate and then make several batches of brownies after everyone else had gone to bed. She tried not to resent her children as she mixed all the ingredients together and popped each pan in the oven.
To be continued…