A detailed how-to for a Haunted Gingerbread House. Happy October!
1. Buy a kit at Trader Joe’s because only Pinterest show-offs actually bake their own.
2. Drive to preschool to pick up child with grandiose ideas of quality time after the baby goes down for a nap.
3. Get home after hanging out on the playground for a little too long with groceries in the car.
4. Put the sleeping baby down for a nap.
5. Bring in groceries after preschooler discovers the box in the grocery bags.
6. Tell her not to touch it when you see her trying to open it.
7. Try to distract her as you hurriedly put away any frozen or refrigerated items.
8. Open the box at the kitchen table and tell her not to touch the candy package she’s already managed to open.
9. Brew a cup of coffee so you don’t need a nap later.
10. Curse under your breath when the doorbell rings, the dog barks and you hear the baby stir.
11. Go to the door to find the guy from the tree removal company. Realize your husband set up an appointment for an estimate that he didn’t tell you anything about.
12. Check your shirt to see that your boobs have not leaked on your shirt after hearing the baby cry.
13. Try to remember which trees husband wants removed from the yard and tell the tree guy.
14. Yell to preschooler to not eat the candy.
15. Come back to the table to read directions while quickly eating a bowl of Pumpkin O’s, remembering that you did not eat lunch. Recall that Trader Joe’s is proof you can make anything pumpkin spiced.
16. Make a mental note of your weakness for pumpkin spiced anything and shop with someone who will stop you from buying things like Pumpkin O’s.
17. Follow directions on the box for how to use the icing packets, realizing the kit uses black and orange icing and nothing good ever comes of black icing.
18. Let preschooler hold your hand as you pipe icing on the designated grooves.
19. Smile as you listen to preschooler giggle.
20. Giggle to yourself when you read the word “erect” in the instructions.
21. Pretend not to see preschooler sneaking candy as you try to mimic the wildly unrealistic design on the box.
22. Allow preschooler to decorate the black cat and pumpkin included in the kit as she sees fit.
23. After decorating the sides and roof of the house, notice that preschooler is getting bored of this activity and just wants to eat icing.
24. Allow preschooler to view herself in the mirror to bask in her icing glory.
25. Help child wash up.
26. Negotiate the amount of candy you will allow child to consume and encourage her to put it on the house to “make it pretty.”
27. Kick yourself for allowing that amount of sugar before “nap time” or “quiet time.”
28. Set finished product out on the counter before spouse arrives home.
29. Look for receipt in anticipation that spouse will ask how much the project cost.
31. Take child upstairs for quiet time.
32. Marvel that there is no black or orange icing on your white shirt.
33. Finish coffee and ignore sugared-up child’s noises coming from their room.
34. Smile, realizing you had a lot of fun. Smile again, hoping she’ll remember that her mama made a Halloween gingerbread house with her and let her smear black icing on her face.
35. Repeat in December with Christmas-themed kit.