Thursday, 7 January 2016

How to... cheer up your teenager

My now 14 year old daughter has had a rough start to the year. On the 2nd of January news broke on her Facebook feed that a girl she knew from school, a 15 year old, had committed suicide on New Years Eve. She was at her dad's at the time. I got a call from a good friend to give me a heads up incase Mini (as I refer to her online) came across the news herself. A text to her dad to keep an eye on her revealed that she had indeed seen and although upset, was handling it ok. I had a feeling that might change.

I will go into more detail about that in another post. But the short story is that it did change, it didn't take long and it hit hard, thankfully, with a lot of activity and distraction, she managed to enjoy her birthday on the 3rd before the brunt of it all hit her like a sledge hammer.

Now it is the 7th, the day of the girls funeral, each day has been fraught with attempts to help her process something that no 14 year old should go through, at the same time as a couple of other teenage dramas of which I am sworn to secrecy... it was the perfect storm.

So one of the many tools I've been testing in this unknown territory of parenting, was having fun! Normality didn't work so well, sitting watching the tv before bed didn't cut it, so I had to get inventive. Yes I was concerned that doing fun things would lead to feelings of guilt, if she felt bad for having fun when this terrible thing had happened. But I really do believe that laughter is medicine, and not just for the soul!

So what did we do? 

We made waffles! 

We made, and ate, the most decadent tasty waffles EVER... for dinner!

One of her Santa presents was this bad boy...

... and we hadn't had a chance to test it out what with, as per usual, her leaving to go to her Dad's at 1pm on Christmas Day, to spend the second half of the holidays with him and his.

So she cracked open the box, we cranked up the tunes and proceeded to make an almighty mess of the kitchen! And it was brilliant! We danced, we weighed, poured, stirred, sang and even Lil (another online alias), my 5 year old, had a great time splashing beating the egg whites :)

Delicious hot waffles were eaten fresh from the press, Lil stuck some ham on hers, Mini opted to add sugar on top(!) - when you see the recipe you will understand why that is so shocking - and I had mine plain, with a cup of the good old Earl Grey Hot with Honey.

Here is the recipe we used...


• 4 eggs 
• 250 grams sugar 
• 250 grams self-raising flour 
• 250 grams butter (melted)
1. Seperate the eggyolks and whites and put them in a bowl. 
2. Stir the eggyolks, while very gradually adding the sugar, flour and melted butter. 
3. Whisk the whites and fold them into the eggyolk-mixture. 
4. Grease the waffle-tin (you only have to do this once) and bake the waffles (size: 1 tablespoon) on a medium heat until golden brown. 
5. Transfer to a rack until cooled.

Which is, unsurprisingly considering the ingredients, a Nigella Lawson recipe. WAFFLES | Recipes | Nigella Lawson

They were a resounding success! 

True, she wasn't as care free and crazy as she usually gets when we do something silly like this, there was a little less manic joy in her eyes from getting messy and breaking the rules of convention. But for a while she had fun, a little bit of sunshine through the window of an otherwise bleak week, and every bit of that is priceless in the quest to have childhood last as long as possible.

(I have not been commissioned to promote anything in this post, saying that, the waffle maker link is an Amazon Associates link, so if you purchase it, or anything on Amazon for that matter, through that link, I'll get a small reward, yay for me!)