I’ll preface this by saying I don’t think I’ve ever made a gingerbread house in my life, so I really don’t know what I’m talking about, but here goes.
I came home today and the house was aflutter. “Daddy, daddy, come see, come SEE!” was how I was greeted at the door. Before I had time to get my coat and shoes off, I was led through the kitchen and out into the front hallway. “Look, LOOK!” Audrey stood next to this amazing looking gingerbread house. This goes to show how much I really pay attention around here. I mean I saw some one-eyed gingerbread men on the counter last night, and I ate one as I went by, because that’s what you’re supposed to do with gingerbread, right?
This gingerbread house was made from scratch. No kits or prefab B.S. This thing took all day, and several attempts at construction before the walls held. (Apparently there is some milk cartony reinforcements on the inside that I’m not supposed to know about). The outside is decorated with sprinkles, smarties, gum drops, icing, you name it. There’s even an upside down ice cream cone that’s been covered in green sprinkles and icing to resemble a Christmas Tree and a gumdrop snowman in the front yard.
I stood in awe for a full minute before I asked what turned out to be a dumb question.
“Um, so, when do we get to eat it?”
“What, you don’t EAT this. It’s just for fun and show,” was my wife’s response.
“In fact I had to make the icing out of raw egg whites so that it would hold the walls up, so you shouldn’t eat it”.
This didn’t stop our daughter from taking a big scoop of icing off the front porch and eat it before either of us could do anything. She then had a gum drop in her mouth and then pried off a smartie from the eavestrough. You could hardly blame her: I had the same idea myself a minute before.
“Really? You went to all this trouble and we can’t even eat it?” was my dumb response. This did not go over well.
“Haven’t you heard of fun and crafts?”
Reader, I am aware of fun and crafts. But up until tonight I would not think to make a pizza out of styrofoam, a plate of cookies out of construction paper, or a gingerbread house made out of poisoned icing.
So I though I should take the long view: “So, um, how long will we have this thing in our front hallway? I mean, the candy might attract ANTS or something if we don’t do something.”
Again: the wrong time for a response like that. I got a look that said ‘We’ve never had ant problems in this house and we’re not going to start to get them in November for God’s sake. For all I know, ants hibernate.’
Her look had a point, I don’t think I’ve ever seen any past labour day, have you? Where do those little buggers go?
So the gingerbread house, the delicious gingerbread house remains on full display in our front hallway until such time that a) Audrey eats enough of the icing and candies that it is deemed a threat and is removed, b) we are overrun by ants and we call the exterminators, or c) someone knocks the table over and puts the darn thing out of its misery.