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The Power of Cookies

February 16, 2009

Mom who has cookies has a secret weapon!

A mom can gauge the temperature of a situation not just by the number of wails and shrieks, but also by the penchant the kids have at any given time for lining up trouble systematically and in rapid-fire succession.

When they reach a point where they no longer have the capacity to entertain themselves constructively and they start having a go at each other, I shout out, "WHO WANTS A COOKIE?"

Immediately, I have pleasant, eager children vying for my attention as I dole out sweet round crisps that I call manna from heaven.

Yes, life is good when mom has cookies to share. And you get different responses with different types of cookies.

Say you were running tight on the grocery budget this month and you bought that really cheap barrel of animal crackers. You know, the kind that makes you feel just a tad less guilty for indulging your children because they are not really real cookies? Well, the kids will take them - they take anything that's even remotely edible, they're like locusts - but peace of mind only lasts for as long as it takes them to eat the animal crackers. So I give them heaping handfuls just to buy myself some more peace.

Next on the list: Oreos. Peace-of-mind-time for these treats? Approximately the same amount of time it takes to dunk, chew and slop chocolate on the walls down the hall on the way to the bathroom to wash up. Somehow Oreos manage to keep them a bit happier so you have a chance to usher them outside to play. Thank God for sugar highs!

Finally, there are homemade cookies. These are my secret weapons. I start baking them before the kids arrive home. It's an amazingly potent tactic. You can hear them clamoring up the walk, they hit the door and barrel through and then?

"Ahhh! Mother, you made cookies!"

Eager beavers quickly change into their play clothes and wash up. They savor each morsel of homemade cookie. (Chocolate chip is the best. It even works on my dear husband.) And then, as if in a magical trance, the kids float to their rooms to happily complete their homework and chores and I get a gold star for the day.

Yeah, maybe it's bribery. But I don't care. My kids will remember the cookies when they look back on their childhoods as adults. And maybe, just maybe, when the pressures of the world get to be a little too much, instead of turning to alcohol, drugs, inappropriate relationships or other addictions - even overeating - they'll just sit down and have a couple of cookies and a glass of milk.

Sounds good, doesn't it? Who wants a cookie?


Lisa Barker of Greenfield is a syndicated humor columnist and mom of five. Her "Jelly Mom" column appears Monday in the Central Coast Living Section of The Salinas Californian. Barker's latest book is "Before I Had Kids I Was a Size 9." See JellyMom.com for more information.

This article reprinted by Best-Ever-Cookie-Collection.com with permission of the author.

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