It is a well-known fact in my family that if I were a Care Bear living in the magical land of Care-a-lot, my name would be Melty Heart Bear. My husband says I have surpassed being a Tender Heart Bear and dubbed me Melty Heart. This applies on multiple levels…such as I tend to feel bad about things that often aren’t even my fault quite often, and I’m not so good at saying “no” because I don’t want to make anyone unhappy, and I’m a bit of a sentimental Mommy. So it’s no big surprise that I’m not a great disciplinarian when it comes to dealing with the kids. I will if I have to, but I tend to try anything else possible first…and fortunately most of the time our son is very well behaved and requires very little discipline.
You might imagine then that not much stresses out Melty Heart Bear more than confrontation and butting heads with her 2 year old all day long over Every. Stupid. Little. Thing. Have you ever had one of those days? Where you feel like you must be the world’s worst parent? And where the best part of the day was the 3 hours that you were out of the house…and then you feel really guilty for feeling that way? So you put the little munchkin down for a much needed nap…and he doesn’t take it. And you try to play and have fun, but it seems like every 5 minutes you’re saying “you need to listen to me.” And there are tears and you think maybe you got through…but the attitude doesn’t change. And finally at bedtime when your head is pounding because of the stress, the climax that has been building all day happens where you tell him not to do something, and he stops, looks right in your eyes, and proceeds to do it and you realize that this is what it has been about all day: testing boundaries, seeing how far he can push Melty Heart Bear. So the discipline has to happen (I would like to say it came from me, but it didn’t…my husband stepped in), and there are many tears. And your heart melts. It melts because you feel like you could have done better. It melts because your child is crying. It melts because you hope he knows that you love him no matter what.
After we got him in bed, in place of having a stiff drink, I declared I would make us something super chocolatey. So a chocolatey chocolate chip strawberry shortcake it was. I normally use Bisquick for my strawberry shortcakes–so I just made my usual recipe, but added 1/4 cup of cocoa powder, a little extra sugar, and a handful of chocolate chips. Chop up your strawberries (I usually mush mine a bit with a potato masher to get some juices), dollop with a big scoop of Cool Whip and there you have it: a chocolatey version of a classic to help you feel better after one of those days. My husband told me a drizzle of chocolate sauce on top would just be over the top…but if your day was bad enough you totally could go for it. I still think maybe I should have.
After consuming and making my taste buds and tummy very happy I felt slightly more solidified.I lay down on the floor next to my sleepy baby girl, and she rolled over and snuggled up with me. She looked into my eyes with her big blues for a bit, and then fell fast asleep. Laying there, snuggled with my baby and listening to the deep breathing coming through the baby monitor of the older one who was finally sleeping after a rough day my heart melted again…but this time in a good way. This time it melted as I thought of how much I love my kids, and how bad days will never change that. I thought of how many times we probably melt God’s heart with stubborn, and at times blatant, disobedience and how His love for us transcends even what I feel for my children. And I knew that tomorrow will be a fresh, and likely better, day. But even if it is not…love and melty hearts will prevail (and plenty of chocolate will be helpful!).
Chocolatey Chocolate Chip Strawberry Shortcake
1 cup of Bisquick baking mix
1/4 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of cocoa powder
1/2 cup of milk
2 tablespoons of chocolate chips
1 Quart of strawberries
Mix together the Bisquick, sugar, cocoa powder, and milk until no lumps remain. Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour into a loaf pan greased with cooking spray (or you could make individual shortcakes if you prefer). Bake at 425 for 13 minutes or until tests done with a toothpick in the middle. Prepare your strawberries by halving, mashing a bit if desired, and sprinkling with a little sugar. Let the shortcake cool a bit, then cut in half, layer with strawberries, dollop with Cool Whip, and enjoy! Makes 2 large servings. 🙂