A few years ago, early on in my blogging (through a different blogging platform) adventure, I wrote about my experience raising daughters and triplets for that matter. They were still toddlers when we arrived in Australia and my eldest was 8yo. It was a struggle adjusting to life without a nanny (called yaya back home in the Philippines) and suddenly facing the task of parenthood upfront. Back in the PI, with a full time job and the luxury of having help around the house and with the kids, it was so easy to escape the responsibilty of being a parent, except when really necessary - taking them to their monthly pediatrician visits, attending school meetings and functions, organising birthdays, etc. It was the standard of living for any working parent/s. Those little milestones during the day are missed and forgotten, because we were not home. We were both working.
When we moved to Australia, it was not easy. All of a sudden, I had to deal with my tween's dramas and the toddlers' tantrums, when all I had in my head was the idea of playing at home, dabbling with playdough and paint, quitely helping with homework, preparing home cooked meals, a spic and span home and all around having a grand fun time. I must have had the idea of a 50s housewife wearing my hair in a bun and donning an apron with homebaked cookies wafting in the air from the kitchen oven. Of course, there were a lot of dramas and crying and not wanting to go to school, not wanting to drink milk, potty training, dealing with getting sick, cleaning up after getting sick, dealing with the ups and downs of girl hormones - pre-teen and then teenhood, and more.
Now that the girls are maturing, there is less yelling in our home and more conversations. Their beautiful personalities are coming through and they are they own person. My eldest now 17 year old has slowly adjusted to her monthly hormonal roller coaster and there is less angst and moans and grunts and more words exchanged. Although I missed having to lecture her about having her period and period pains and all other growing up topcis (no thanks to Healthy Harold). And the girls while still adjusting to tweenhood, their interests is making me and hubby jump from one fad to the next - from One Direction to Rainbow Looms, to camps and sleepovers.
Parenting, as it is - multiples or not, is a responsibility that is beyond anything. There's a lot of hit and miss, trial and error, and even books and so-called experts tell us we're doing something wrong or right or we're this, and we're that and that our kids will grow up needing regular psychiatric meetings. There is a lot of parenting books out there, parenting articles saying all these and before, I used to read them all, and then compare my kids developments to others. Bad idea. The truth is, we (parents) each have our styles and there is no cookie-cutter approach to a single child. Each child is unique and usually, the parent style suits the family dynamics.
These days, I wear my hair short. There is the aroma of cookies (and cakes, and brownies) wafting from the kitchen oven. We play Monopoly and Boggle more and watch reruns of Friends on TV. We watch movies together (from Frozen to 100 Foot Journey). There is the occasional groans and I-didn't-hear-you episodes, little dramas that add spice to our family, but over all, I think we're approaching a higher order of parenting in our own little way.
This recipe is adapted from Ree Drummond - The Pioneer Woman
225g salted butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups + 2 tablespoons gluten free flour*
2 (heaping) teaspoons espress powder (or coffee granules)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup mini M&Ms
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 180*C
In a bowl, combine the flour, espresso powder, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
Melt the half of the butter in a pan until golden (with brown bits in the bottom). Transfer to a small bowl including all the brown bits. Do not burn. Set aside to cool.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the softened butter with the brown and caster sugar until combined.
Add eggs one at a time, then the vanilla and beat until mixed through.
Add the cooled melted butter and continue to beat, scraping down the sides of the bowl every now and then, until incorporated.
In three batches, add the flour mixture while continuing to beat the dough.
Using a small ice cream scoop, or teaspoon, scoop dough onto a parchment lined (or if using silicone mat) baking tray.
Chill in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes.
Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes or until golden.
Tips and tricks:
* I used a local (Woolworths) brand free from gluten flour which is a combination of tapioca starch, maize starch corn flour and ice flour which made for thinner and crispy cookies
* Use regular plain flour like PW if you're not avoiding gluten
* Bake in 160*C oven for longer if you prefer more golden cookies