Thursday, August 21, 2008

The kind of mom I want to be (I think)

I made muffins. I made those muffins specifically to give to Havoc when he came home from school. See, I have this vision in my mind of the kind of mom I want to be - the kind that greets their children with home baked goodness and milk when they get home from school. The kind that sits down with them at the kitchen table and asks them how their day went, in a casual, non-cross examining manner. I want my kids to have a memory of a mom who fed them fresh from the oven baked goods and listened with interest & sympathy to their thoughts after school. I've been waiting for almost 6 years to get a shot at being this kind of mom & now it has finally happened.

I have no idea if I actually am that sort of mom, or if this particular fantasy of mine will last beyond next week, but it's worth a go. I have the essential elements - I like to bake and I am a good listener. But I am also lazy and selfish and get involved in other things to the point where it is too late to bake something or I'm just not able to stop & listen right then. So while I want to do it, I have some doubts about my ability to follow through. (I've known me for 41 years, follow through is an issue for me)

It's important to me to try, because I always wanted the "meet-you-at-the-door-with-cookies" type of mom. What I had was the "shout-to-you-from-the-laundry-room-"Don't eat anything you'll spoil your dinner" type of mom. (and she was correct. I got home after 4pm and we ate at 5:30). Mom has never been much into baking either. I made all the homemade cookies in the house starting when I was 8. I'm not saying I felt deprived by this, or that my mom didn't take an interest in my life; she was always willing to listen, but she didn't ask much. "How was you day?" was a dinner time question and the amount of attention you got depended on how everyone else's day was, how picky you were being about the food and how badly your sibling was behaving.

I met Havoc at the bus stop and we walked back to the house. He was delighted to find chocolate muffins waiting for him and we spent about 8 minutes eating muffins and talking about his day.

Then Super Dog came on.

When I was constructing this little after school fantasy in my head I had forgotten I was dealing with my children, who are occasionally shockingly like me. See...despite wanting a 'meet-you-at-the-door-for-cookies-and-chat' mom, I was not a 'cookies-and-chat' sort of kid. I was a 'But Mom, Scooby Doo is coming on" sort of kid. I really preferred to veg in front of the tv for an hour before I spoke to anyone, a habit that stuck with me through college & all of my working life. I need coffee before I can talk to people in the morning & I need a mindless sitcom rerun after work before I tell you how my day went. So, as with most fantasies, they don't work well in real life. I'm going to continue to provide an after school snack & a willing ear, but I'm going to try & time it better.

The muffins were good though.

Chocolate Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

2.5 cups flour

1/4 cup unsweet cocoa (not Dutch processed)

1 teas baking soda

1/4-1/2 teas ground cinnamon

1 cup softened butter

1.5 cups sugar

2 eggs

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 teas vanilla extract

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 cups shredded zucchini

4oz bittersweet chocolate well chopped

Preheat oven to 375

Mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda & cinnamon together in a large bowl

In another bowl cream the butter & sugar together until fluffy (I use a stand mixer but a hand mixer is fine too, or if you really want a workout - a whisk). Slowly add the oil while mixing, then the eggs one at a time. Add about a third of the four, when it is combined add half the buttermikl, repeat until all the flour & buttermilk are added. This has a very creamy almost icing like texture. Fold in the zucchini & chopped chocolate

Pour into baking cups and bake for about 25-35 minutes, checking until a toothpick comes out clean.

This makes about 20-24 regularly filled muffins (fill cups 3/4 full). It makes 15-18 overfilled muffins (cups filled all the way up). In my case, since I only had 12 cups, it made 12 overfilled muffins and 14 overfilled mini muffins (bake 15-20 minutes)


Mommie Mayhem said...

Muffins sound yummy !! I two have dreams of one day becoming that super mom!! Heres to making dreams come matter how far away they may be :)

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I wanted to be the sort of Mom who got up early and made coffee cake or something for breakfast. It didn't happen.

You've zeroed in on the important part: the quality time. Those after-school discussions are sometimes some of the best we have. Focus on that. The homemade stuff isn't what makes a great mom.

Anonymous said...

Wow. This post kind of reminds me of my own mom, in that she never cooked but always tried to do those things. She was the open, willing, engaged, eager to listen mom, and I wouldn't trade her. But she always seemed to want to be that mom. Some day your boys will look back and see those sweet intentions.