This morning: chocolate chip coconut pecan. "Again? We had those last week!" I asked Mark, a little bit incredulously, after I had requested his input (incidentally, it took me several years of marriage to learn that asking my spouse's input about the menu leads to a certain expectation that said input ought to, you know, have some effect on what I decide to make. I keep forgetting this important insight, and I still slip up and ask for input from time to time).
"Hon, you are the only one around here with the 'we can't eat the same food twice in a row' complex. They were good muffins. Let's have them again."
Really I was thinking "I made those for the kids' tea. What kind of degenerate person eats chocolate chips for breakfast?" but decided not to verbalize that. Until now.
Last week I told the kids they were "chocolate chip cookie muffins." It's what came into my head naturally; a while ago I dubbed another kind of muffin "oatmeal cookie muffins" in an attempt to make them sound more attractive, and also because they contain oats, raisins, cinnamon and cloves, and molasses. Anyway, there were exactly six "chocolate chip cookie muffins" left over after breakfast, so I thought: Perfect, I have to feed a snack to six children this afternoon at Hannah's.
When it was four o'clock or so and time for tea snack, I announced that I had chocolate chip cookie muffins, plus apples or whatever else I had (don't really remember), which brought several children running. I handed out the muffins and busied myself preparing something else in the kitchen; a moment later I heard a loud altercation behind me.
Perplexed, I turned around and saw that the altercation was coming from Hannah's four-and-a-half-year-old daughter, who was screaming at me in utter, red-faced rage. I honestly could not make out what she was saying. "Hazel! Calm down -- what's wrong?" Hannah wryly translated: having been promised something called chocolate-chip-cookie-something-or-other and being handed a muffin was, um, unacceptable. Or the last straw or something. To say the least.
Now let me preface this by writing that after nearly 9 years of bringing our families together one or two days a week, Hannah and I have established a comfortable pattern of responding to each other's children. So in that kind of a situation, I get to decide how to respond -- we mostly suppress our impulses to jump in and whisk the child away and insist that she apologize.
Hazel is a sweet little girl, and it had been a long day, and frankly I was surprised (and admittedly kind of amused) by the unforeseen result of my muffin-naming. (I mean -- you give a kid a chocolate chip cookie muffin, you don't expect apoplexia. At least I don't. Maybe I should. I don't know.) So I sat down beside her and said "What a mix-up!" and explained why I named the muffins "chocolate chip cookie muffins." She sniffled and hiccuped and tried the muffin. I don't remember, she may even have apologized to me. I don't think she liked the muffin very much. But everything did turn out okay in the end.
Where am I going with this? I don't know, but the chocolate chip cookie muffins are done now and I can take them out of the oven. Today I'm leaving the muffins at home and bringing applesauce. I didn't make it myself, so I know it's safe.