Missed the Mark

Photo: The shame, Dear Reader… the shame of this right here…


I woke up this morning to a cool, cool house and I declared it, finally, baking season. I was like, the boys have the day off and they are in trouble (I’ll get to that in a second), so I ain’t goin’ nowhere. Today is gonna be a bake stuff, low-and-slow dinner, have the oven on all day because I can, make this house smell mm-mm-good, get laundry wash dried and put away in the same day, kind of day. Yup. I woke up and declared it. I declared it, Dear Reader!

I started my day with a little co-wash for these locs, did a little tidying up, did a little project upstairs and then I got to that kitchen. It’s September, a week before my birthday, so it’s All Pumpkin Everything season around here, I had two cans of pumpkin in my pantry just for this purpose and I was like: today is the day that pumpkin bread will be baked! I couldn’t wait to get my hands on my Kitchenaid. Joys upon joys, Dear Reader!

I put it all together and even got fancy with it. I hooked my batter up with some ginger and some allspice and my organic roasted cinnamon (that’s a thing and it’s delicious). I broke out my microplane so I could grate fresh nutmeg into my batter. I was showin’ off. It was going to be awesome.

but I neglected to add any leavener.


And I didn’t realize it until I was about 45 minutes into baking.

Just… just awful. Just… so shameful.

And so my house does, indeed, smell mm-mm good… but there will be no delicious morsels of pumpkin bread.

“But Kyra, don’t you have time to bake more bread before the end of the day?”

I do, Dear Reader, but I’m currently cooking ribs at a temperature lower than needed for baking bread. This will have to be an evening thing now, and the bread takes a whole hour to bake.

Anyway, the moral of the story is: don’t be cute. Re-read recipes if it’s been a while. Bread needs leavener. It’s pretty essential.

As I mentioned earlier, the boys are home today and we ain’t doin’ anything fun. Essentially, they’re “grounded” today because they have been crazy for the last couple of weeks and the crescendo came last night when they both basically lost it at Boy Scouts. Now, I wasn’t there to witness the behavior, but what I did witness was my husband dropping his voice real low and level the accusations:

  • Running around in the church basement when they should have been paying attention.
  • Climbing up onto the stage during a presentation, even when they were asked multiple times not to.
  • Snatching papers (or something) out of the Scout Leader’s hand.
  • Wandering off down a hallway when they were supposed to be in the room they were in.
  • Being the worst-behaved kids at the meeting (a big deal because The Husband is the Chairman or whatever…)

The boys slumped with embarrassment as the story was told. No denials were given.

“Well, I was going to take you apple picking tomorrow. I guess now we’ll be staying home,” I said.

“No television, no nothing tomorrow. You’re having a day in. You’re in the playroom or you’re quietly reading, but that’s all you’re doing,” The Husband pronounced.

And it was done.

I’ll give the boys credit: there weren’t any tears or other nonsense. The sentence came down and they seemed to accept it. They had the smoothest bedtime routine they’ve had in a while… and, while they woke up earlier than I wanted them to, they’ve had a very low-key, low-need, super-respectful sort of day.

I told my mom over the weekend that the boys are in a phase right now that I really, really don’t like. Lots of boundary pushing, lots of not listening, lots of ridiculous behavior and a lack of gratitude. They really are “full” people. They do things that make my heart sing and they do things that make me want to ship them off to a far off, eccentric aunt in the deep woods to do chores and be miserable for a while. I love them with all my heart and soul, but I need them to leave whatever phase this is and enter another one. For all our sake.

You can’t truly “ground” a 1st and 2nd grader. “Time out,” though, has pretty much lost its practicality. We’re in a new phase of parenting where punishment is withholding. No, I’m not entertaining you. No, you aren’t watching TV. No, you’re not going to the park or even playing in the playfort. I’ll give you a hug and a kiss, but there won’t be extended snuggles and me giving you my whole day. You’re on your own. You need to go and be and do and think and be bored. And y’all better not fight the hammer is comin’ down.

They seem to get it.


I guess we all live to fight another day.

It’s mid-week in mid-September. The look and feel around here is certainly changing for the cooler. I hope your week is the same way: ready to pivot, ready for change. Let’s see what we can accomplish by Friday.

I’ll see you then for Quiet Thoughts.



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