Last night I made a gingerbread house with FringeKid. We brought it to school today, because her class is bringing a whole bunch of pre-assembled houses to the nursing home. The fourth grade kids will decorate them with the residents.
It was such a great idea, I volunteered to make a house. Actually, my daughter volunteered me long before I heard the words “ginger bread”.
Although I’ve seen lavishly decorated houses of confection since I was a kid, I’ve never actually built my own cookie house. My mother constructed a duplex with my kids a few years ago, but I think I was doing last-minute shopping while they were frosting and gumdropping. I’m a novice at sugar-laden brick and mortar, but I bought pre-made walls and a roof. How hard could it be to ice house parts together?
Hard, I tell ya.
As soon as I set the first wall, I knew we were in trouble. I took my hand off the wall to grab another piece and plunk, it fell down. I don’t know what I was expecting, but icing doesn’t cement on contact. FringeKid rescued me with her extra hands. Not that she was born with extra, but her two add to my two…you know what I mean anyway. Don’t you?
While she held and I iced, I vowed never to tile my kitchen floor. If I can’t work with icing, there’s no way I’d be able to swirl an even layer of grout on the floor. After I’m up to my elbows in some of the stickiest frosting I’ve ever used, FringeKid looks at me and says, “You know, using a knife would be easier. That’s why we have plastic knives in school.”
“Now you think of this.” I said while licking my frosted elbow.
I didn’t really lick my elbow, but I did try after writing that line. I’m telling you; it’s impossible. Go ahead and try!
I know you just tried.
I only turned my back for a second. I was getting a knife when the roof began sliding down the house, leaving a gaping hole in the top. Easy access for Santa? The fourth graders might buy it, but not the old people.
That’s when I saw the mighty-man’s glue gun sitting on the counter. Just a small bead along the top and all my confection problems would be solved. I reached for it, but FringeKid stopped me.
“You can’t use glue!” She yelled. “We’re leaving these at the nursing home for the old people to eat.”
Ok, here’s the thing. Old people have diabetes. They may pluck a piece of candy off the siding when no-ones looking, but they’re not going to chow down on the whole entire roof. They’d go into a coma and then I’d have to go shave their legs out of guilt. Thanks to Laura, everyone knows how I worry about uncontrollable hair growth if I should suddenly fall into a coma.
So I didn’t use hot glue. I was tempted nearly beyond what I could bear, but the thought of shaving ninety year-old legs helped me resist.
I felt so guilty for contemplating glue, I pulled a bag of red and green M&M’s out of hiding and donated them for gingerbread decorations.
May all the little gingerbread men and women live happily ever after in their somewhat crooked house. And may no nursing home residents go into a sugar-induced coma because of me.