Monday, August 11, 2008

The First Day of School (and a treat for afterwards)

The First Day of School. Finally. I love my little hatchlings dearly, but after summer “vacation” of 2 and a half months, with children constantly surrounding me, every day and night, 24/7, they need to be away from me, in school with lots of structure and other grownups watching them. (School…. love school). After a bumpy start everything smoothed out and everyone survived Day One. Me included. I was a little teary-eyed when I saw the bus pull up ready to take The Little One away to kindergarten and the Big Two off to 4th grade, but that quickly changed when The Little One refused to get on the bus. After dragging him across the street and physically lifting him onto the bus, with the driver then blocking the door so he couldn’t escape back off - sigh - there were no tears after that. Especially since I was still in my pajamas and there were now 4 other moms who suddenly materialized from nowhere and 2 cars filled with neighbors stuck waiting behind the school bus watching while the drama unfolded. Great.

I was even less moved when I got a call from school some 20 minutes later telling me that he was hiding under the teacher’s desk and wouldn’t come out. As a plea bargain, he could talk to me on the phone, make sure I hadn’t disappeared off the face of the earth and then put the past behind him and have fun at school. “Child. Come out from under the desk. Now. Please. You will have fun and learn great things. Good job, honey. Thank you. I will see you later on today when the bus brings you back to me. I will be here. I will make treats. I love you. Bye-bye sweetie. Please give the phone back to the teacher now”. [Insert deep cleansing breaths here.] Awaiting the return of Himself and The Brothers, I ran errands, took back the perpetual pile of returns that lives in the front seat of my car, went to the bank, got the oil changed AND the cleaning ladies came so the house looks and smells Fabuloso. Ahhhh. Happy girl.

To celebrate the return to sanity, uh, I mean school, I made the aforepromised treats. I was inspired by this recipe for Peanut Butter and Fudge Brownies with Salted Peanuts from Joe at Culinary in the Desert. Since I’m cooking for an under 10 elementary school crowd, and the boys don’t appreciate bittersweet or unsweetened chocolate (or espresso) (yet), and since I had a freshly cleaned kitchen, I therefore cheated and started with Duncan Hines Double Chocolate Brownie Mix in lieu of the batter portion of the recipe. I added the vanilla, a little salt and yeah, the espresso powder (just a little) and the peanuts. Of course I forgot to chop them up first, but the kids don’t notice such things. To have a little help getting them out of the pan I lined the pan with foil / made handles and sprayed with cooking spray. I got to use my new toy for the frosting: the SideSwipe paddle for my Kitchen Aid mixer! What a great thing this is! It really works - it gets all the ingredients mixed together and scrapes everything off the sides and bottom. Love it! Nuked the chocolate chips and butter for the frosting and made cleanup easier for myself, as I am all about easy, especially today.

The verdict? This is going to be a good school year after all.

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