I think school holidays are going to kill me. The weather in Tauranga has been awful so there hasn't been much to do except be stuck inside. At home. With my children. No one should have to spend this much time with their children, it isn't natural.

On day three of being cooped up I thought, hey, let's do something fun. Why don't we make a chocolate cake? The kids were so excited.

Let me consult the "other" woman in our house, Chelsea Winter. We'll make her Crazy Italian Chocolate Cake, it's super quick and easy.

So, I took the kids to the supermarket to top up some ingredients, excited (me, not them) just to leave the house.


Their fighting started over who got to hold the basket, then who got to put the shopping in it.

I tried to be the peacemaker and asked them to hold one basket handle each. There were protests over that too.

We got home and there was more fighting because my son wouldn't wash his hands before "helping".

Then, they started shoulder barging each other over who was having which stool.

I must have really wanted cake because I continued, letting each have a turn at tipping ingredients into the sieve and shaking it.

She did the flour. He did the castor sugar.

They whined over who got to shake more.

She wanted to do the cocoa because it looked like chocolate.


He wanted to do the olive oil, which I knew would be a disaster.

My daughter wanted to pour the salt in and screamed when I said no because I didn't want the cake to taste like Play-Doh.

Whose stupid idea was this cake anyway? By this point I've lost my appetite and my will to live.

I told them that was it. I was doing the rest myself and no one was getting to stir the cake because they couldn't get along. That started even more complaining.

For the next 40 minutes I was asked, "Where is the cake?" "Can we eat the cake yet?"
"Why can't we eat the cake?" The questions only intensified once the cake was out of the oven and cooling.

I'm going to hunt you down, Chelsea Winter, and throw my kids at you.

I shouldn't have let them have any cake because they had been fighting so much. But I really needed cake, so I rewarded their bad behaviour with cake and in doing so let them know they can be devil-children and still get cake, so now they own me.

As we ate a piece of cake each I basked in a glorious five minutes without any whining.

It's the easiest cake in the history of the world and I'm exhausted.

But, as any mum knows, an hour of hell is worth it for just five minutes of peace. And cake.