There is a reason why my beloved regularly refers to Otto as Daughter the Evil.
Take this past weekend, for example.
Friday was Bigster’s birthday, and we had “all the family” over – at least, the Melbourne contingent. The four of us; my brother, his wife and their 2 kids; my parents; and my godmother. We got takeaway from my favourite local Lebanese place, and I cooked sausage rolls for Otto and my niece. Nephew is still restricted to rice cereal and boob juice. For someone who didn’t want to eat Lebanese, Otto sure can pack it away.
The night before Bigster’s birthday, I indulged in the usual cupcake frenzy. Double the usual cupcake frenzy, actually, as she is now in a double class of fifty six kids (with two teachers) and she wanted to take cupcakes for everyone. To tie in with her run for Prime Minister in the class mock elections, each cupcake was decorated with a little home-made flag saying “VOTE 1 BIGSTER”. Courtesy of Fraser, who stuck while I baked. I was keen to make t-shirts for her and her friends, but one the friends nearly exploded as she tried to think of a polite way to tell me that my idea was OMG SO STUPID. I almost felt sorry for her.
Given my propensity for, well, rather stupid ideas, I should not really be surprised that Otto has a few unusual inclinations.
Like the cupcakes.
See, on Friday, I got a little carried away making Caramel Cupcakes. These should in fact be called OMGCARAMEL! cupcakes, as they are … ummm … well, the word excessive springs to mind. First, you make caramel sauce. You use that instead of milk in the cupcake batter. Then, you make more caramel sauce. You whip it up with icing sugar to make yummy fluffy caramelly diabetic-coma-inducing icing. Then, you put a caramel-filled chocolate on top. Then, you make a third batch of caramel sauce, which you drizzle on top (you can save the rest to heat and pour on icecream later – yummo!).
While I was doing this, Otto decided that she wanted to bake as well. She mixed butter, golden syrup, honey, flour, caster sugar, brown sugar, smarties, eggs, hundreds & thousands and LOTS of blue food colouring together. At that stage, damage done, I suggested she needed baking powder as well. If you’re going to do something disgusting, you might as well do it properly.
Later that evening, when I went to get the birthday cupcakes and put them out to sing Happy Birthday, I overheard a “thankyou Otto, that looks very interesting” – and made it into the living room just in time to prevent her from feeding these special experiments to the family. They were unlikely to be poisonous, but I think they could have chipped a few teeth!
My mother had the grace not to tell my daughters about the khaki cake with strawberry essence that featured in my past, although she did remind me.
It was a good night.
Where Otto really excelled, though, was on Monday. Monday was a school-free day, and the girls and I were at home. I was frantically busy with work, but set myself up in the living room so that I could keep an eye on things. Not a very good one, as it transpired. I still confuse “quiet” with “nothing to see here”.
Over the course of the day, Otto managed to:
- move the windex from where our cleaner had left it;
- move the money we had left out for our cleaner;
- spread her 20 poster-sized colouring sheets all over the house;
- pack two cupcakes into a container, label it “Ready Made Cup-Cakes” and put it on her bedroom shelf
- tie a feather boa to the clothes line
- paint the rug on the living room floor
- invent a new way to make paper dolls from cupcake papers – and use about 30 cupcake wrappers
- make some more cake batter
- artistically arrange my car keys on the Wii Fit board
- create a playlist on her iPod Nano which plays ABBA’s “Thankyou for the music” a hundred and fifty times over.
- use up an entire bag of hundreds and thousands.
I blame myself.
In fairness, she moved the Windex because she wanted to take it outside to clean the windows (which she did); she told us where the money was straight away; she coloured or painted several of the sheets; the cupcakes were for teachers at school; I have NFI about the boa; the rug was an accident (and just a small spot); the paper dolls look fabulous; the cake batter was creative; she fessed up to where the car keys were once she realised why I was panicking this morning; she fed the fairy bread to the family; and she really, REALLY likes ABBA.
Creativity is a good sign, right?