Come three o’clock, kids all over the country climb in the car and when prompted by their folks, tell them they did nothing at school, played with no one, learned nothing.
When the Big Sister learned nothing during her entire year of prep, I had a good mind to have a chat to the principal. Then I learned the secret to getting tired kids to talk.
Turns out, if you sit down at the kitchen bench and have afternoon tea with them – this can be hard sometimes, part of me itches to unpack the dishwasher – they’ll spill the beans.
I kid you not, biscuits and milk are their kryptonite. Sit them down with a couple of these bad boys and a glass of milk and wait. Soon enough they’ll be telling you all the playground goings-on in exhausting minutiae.
best ever biscuits
The Big Sister has declared these “the best biscuits ever”. Coincidentally she also declared me “the best mum ever” for baking them.*
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cups plain flour
⅓ cup cocoa
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
160g chocolate pieces (I used mini m and ms.)
Cream the butter and sugar together. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg and vanilla extract. Beat for another couple of minutes.Eggs, like butter, should be room temperature for best results when baking. Room temperature eggs emulsify into batter much better than their cold counterparts.Click To Tweet
Add the dry ingredients and beat on a low speed until combined. Add the chocolate pieces and stir to distribute.
Place tablespoonfuls of mixture onto prepared baking trays and bake at 180ºC for about twelve minutes, or until the cookies are baked but still gooey inside. Allow to cool on the tray for five minutes before transferring to cooling racks.
Serve with milk and listen up!
Finally, a caveat: taste isn’t the only reason why there’s a pinch of salt these biscuits.
While it’s wonderful to finally hear all the chat from monkey bars, sometimes who-said-what-to-who can sound quite alarming when repeated out of context at your kitchen bench.
But before you start punching the school’s number into your phone, hear me out: if these are the moments that your child is bringing home to share, imagine what horrifying moments from home she retold during her impromptu “What I did on the weekend” talk on Monday.
Here’s the second step of my plan: broker a deal with your child’s teacher.
When the Big Sister’s teacher and I met for the first time this year, we reached an agreement. I believe half of what the Big Sister tells me happened at school. In return Miss P believes half of what the Big Sister tells her happened at home. Everybody wins.
do your kids do nothing at school?
* A lot of stuff has been ‘best ever’ this week and it occurs to me that
‘best ever’ may be the Big Sister’s term de jour. Results may vary.