Be Nice to your Baked Goods

"Be nice to your baked goods" by Jake Frost (

By Welleschik (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

My four-year-old daughter was helping me make cupcakes. She loves every step of cupcake-confection creation: measuring, pouring, mixing, placing cupcake wrappers in the pan, spooning batter into the wrappers, sliding the pans into the oven, and then turning on the oven light to peek in on the baking progress every five seconds or so until it’s time to take them out.

When that time finally arrived, I pulled the pans out of the oven and put them on top of the stove, then got a toothpick and stuck it in one of the cupcakes to see if they were done.

Upon witnessing this, my daughter was aghast.

“Daddy!” she exclaimed, “What are you doing!?! It’s not nice to poke the cupcakes.”

I laughed.

But I think back to that incident from time to time when I need reminding. Because sometimes we can lose track of just how little they are. And how much they still have to learn.

And poor creatures, they have only us to teach them!

Saint Mother Teresa said: “If you can’t feed a hundred, feed one.” “Never worry about numbers,” she said, “help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you.” And: “Love begins by taking care of the closest ones—the ones at home.”

As it is with feeding the body, so it is with feeding the mind and soul. They are young, they have much they need to learn, so we have to teach them. Often that means taking a deep breath and slowing down and accepting that a lot of other things won’t get done. But that’s all right, because it’s worth it. This is important. After all, if we don’t teach them, who will?

And that question is not rhetorical.  There are many eager to fill our children’s heads, with what you know not.

Educating our children is like what Saint Thomas More said:  “Occupy your minds with good thoughts, or the enemy will find the bad ones. Unoccupied they cannot be.”

So it’s up to us to put the good stuff in there.

Taking the time to do that will always pay off. Scripture tells us:  “Train a boy in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not swerve from it.” Prv 22, 6.

It can be daunting, when they have so much they need to know, but we can follow Mother Teresa’s lead and start by teaching them one thing, and then moving on to another.

And cupcakes are always a good place to start—with most anything!

Copyright 2017 Jake Frost


About Author

Jake Frost is an attorney, husband, and father of four grade-school aged kids. He’s the author of four books: Catholic Dad: (Mostly) Funny Stories of Faith, Family, and Fatherhood, Catholic Dad 2: More (Mostly) Funny Stories of Faith, Family, and Fatherhood, Dust to Stars, Poems by Jake Frost, and a children’s book he also illustrated called The Happy Jar.

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