You might think that a kid with a sweet tooth is, while normal, not exactly ideal. We want our children to eat their veggies, have balanced diets, and to the extent it is possible avoid over-eating in categories that we know to be harmful to them in one way or another. Sweets are characteristically in this latter category, as they are rumored to cause hyperactive children and definitively rot teeth according to dentists and tooth-oriented businesses everywhere. So you’d be forgiven for thinking that my own little cupcake kid is for some reason a bad thing. You’d be forgiven for thinking such a thing, but you’d also be wrong.
The cupcake kid knows fractions. He’s three years old and fractions are a part of his normal vocabulary. You see, my cupcake kid doesn’t just eat cupcakes, he makes them too. Measuring out a cup and a half of this, three-quarters of a cup of that, and figuring out how many teaspoons equal out to a tablespoon — my cupcake kid earns the fruits of his labors. That leftover batter tastes miraculous as he watches the timer count down for a brief moment before tackling the frosting.
How much cream cheese needs to go into this? Where do you cut it along the neatly provided lines? Should we measure it by weight instead of by length? All of these considerations are made by my cupcake kid each time we partake in these sweet treats (not too often, but often enough). So as we sit enjoying our tooth-rotting treat, I can take comfort in the fact that my cupcake kid is learning something very valuable. Math, patience, and collaboration are all a part of this task. And after we’re done, when the treat has left our mouths, we go upstairs slowly and learn one more lesson — we brush our teeth.