When I was much younger, I noticed that people had a tendency to exclaim how fortunate I was, and how pampered I must be to be the youngest child of six. The equivalence between the nerve-wrecking experience of having seven worn out pairs of eyes (inclusive of the parents’) watching my every action, and yet, being automatically bestowed the guaranteed title of Pampered Child of The Family clearly escapes me.
Sure, I was always given the last piece of candy or chocolate in the box. Sure, I was given presents on every one else’s birthday celebrations. Sure, I only entered the kitchen, and held a knife at a much much much later age as compared to my sisters [and I won’t even mention when I started learning to cook rice, fry eggs, or cut onions, for that matter].
As pampered and spoilt as it may all sound, I realised that as I grew older, I constantly struggled with my identity.
The turning point in my life, as I remembered it, was when I insisted that every one stop calling me ‘Baby’; a term of endearment that transcended the boundaries of my immediate family, with all the older grandmamas and aunts recognising me as ‘Baby’, and even when my cousins had their own children, I was ‘Aunty Baby’ to them. Soon after that, I insisted that my family and relatives stop giving me soft toys on my birthday, as I was ‘too big for kiddy things’ .
I wanted to grow up. Badly.
Now that I’m almost twenty-five years of age, when I look back at those times, I find myself laughing at the silliness of all the ‘stop-treating-me-like-a-kid’ episodes I’ve had. And even though times have changed, and I, for one, have most definitely grown as a person (I love soft toys, and I’m proud of it!), the one thing that I must accede to is that despite the constant yearning to be treated like an adult, there are many times in life when you find that the only comfort and assurance you can ever need is from the very arms of the person(s) whom you shrugged off in the name of ‘growing up’.
For all the times that I grumbled, failing to understand why my classmates could walk home by themselves, while I had my mother waiting for me at the school porch. And yet, for all the times I whined about school and work, and she assures me that things will look up for me once the hurdles have passed. For all the times that I complained about the lack of trust, when my mother calls to check where I am, or to remind me of the time and rush me home. And yet, for all the times that she stays up, waiting for me to reach home, and set aside food every night, even though she is fully aware that I’ve already had my dinner outside.
For all those times, I know that even when you become someone’s girlfriend, someone’s wife, or someone’s mother, it is a true blessing that no matter what happens, you will always be someone’s little girl.
To all the lovely mothers out there, I wish you a…
(adapted from here)
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups self-raising flour
4-5 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs and sugar until creamy and light in colour.
2. Add milk and oil, and continue beating until well blended.
3. Add vanilla extractto the mixture. Gradually add flour and then beat until the batter is smooth and the dry ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.
4. Divide the mixture into 2 equal portions. Keep one portion plain. Add cocoa powder into another and mix well. The color of the cocoa batter should be quite dark, so add more if needed.
5. Preheat the oven to 180C.
7. The most important part is assembling the cake batter in a baking pan. This is what you do. Scoop 3 heaped tablespoons of plain batter (you can also use a ladle that would hold 3 tablespoons) into the middle of the baking pan. Then scoop 3 tablespoons of cocoa batter and pour it in the center on top of the plain batter.
NOTE: Do not spread the batter or tilt the pan to distribute the mixture. It will spread by itself and fill the pan gradually. Continue alternating the batters until you finish them.
8. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes.