My son recently had a birthday. His fifth! I made a cake and I posted about it over on Facebook. A ton of people asked to see the cake. Okay. One person did. Whatever.
Regardless of real or imagined demand for this information, here are his birthday cakes through the years…
The first birthday of a first child is special. For the parents. "Holy shit, we survied a whole year of this!"
For the child, it is all about the cake. Baby gets their first sugar high. It gets all over their face. You take photos. Done.
All we have to do is come up with a cake.
My husband thinks he is being helpful when he presents me with this "brilliant" idea:
He might as well have suggested that we put cockroaches into his sippy cup.
I am required to make the cake from scratch. Otherwise, I am not a good mother.
Besides, only the very best, most purest, non-allergenic ingredients can be put into my precious snowflake's cake.
He is not much of an eater and hasn't been introduced to many solids yet. So we have to avoid, like, everything. I'm pretty sure there isn't any actual food in the cake.
But it looks great.
An octopus cake! Made using two pans. A very tiny one for the octopus on top. So cute.
At the party, we pull off the octopus and give it to him.
He does not injest a single crumb. He screams when we try to put frosting near his mouth.
Cockroaches would have gone over better.
For his 2nd birthday I am completely uninterested in making a cake that he might not even eat. My husband offers his usual "brilliant" suggestion about buying one. But that is a stupid idea.
So my friend Wendy makes him one. A robot. An orange robot.
The sheer sight of it makes him bubble over with joy.
So we dissect the robot and it is delicious. But he doesn't eat any. He'd rather talk to what is left of it. Which is cute. And slightly sad.
I am due with my 2nd baby within a week. I am huge and tired and miserable. So of course I am going to bake him a cake.
My pregnant belly is so gigantic that I can't reach the counter to stir unless I turn sideways. Which hurts my back. So I have to mix all the ingredients on the floor.
We make vanilla cupcakes first and then move onto the chocolate cake batter.
I bought a penguin shaped cake pan to keep things simple. We pop it into the oven. Easy as can be!
After an hour of cooking we check it.
It is late, I put him to bed. The cake keeps on baking.
After 2 hours in the oven…
I have to take it out of the oven before it sets off our fire alarms.
Now remember, I am like, super pregnant with baby #2. This means that a cake failure means that I am a failure. As a mother. More or less.
How could I possibly have another baby if I can't even bake a cake for the one I've got?
My husband tries to derail my train wreck of thought by repeating his "brilliant" idea:
Could he have said anything worse? He is dealing with the situation like a man. Offering solutions and shit. I hate it when he does this.
Plus, I take it personally. His suggestion confirms that I suck. Obviously.
I'm going to fix this. We are going to eat that penguin.
The good news is that it is an eggless batter. No raw cake health risks.
I manage to unmold it in chunks. And I cover the deformed penguin with copious amounts of frosting.
It kinda works.
At the party, people say it is good! Impressive, even.
When cut, it looks layered. Like it was intentional. Naturally, I don't reveal the truth. Hey, I'm nine months pregnant. If someone throws a compliment my way I will grab it, say thank you and run before they take it back.
Proud of myself as the genius cake crafter, I check in on the birthday boy…
But then he pauses, turns to me and tells me:
And then he runs off.
There is no way in hell I'm making a cake this year. I'm busy with the baby and the kid doesn't even like cake! No way, not happening.
Pure pie bliss. No tears and no stress.
Plus, he eats it.
This brings us to the recent birthday, the one that just happened.
You'd think that after last year we'd have learned that pie = good and cake = bad. I mean, Hyperbole and a Half scientifically proved this fact already. And Adam Carolla ranted about cake vs pie too. Pie always wins. (thanks to Caryn for sharing the Adam Carolla link)
We try to avoid cake.
We remind him that he "doesn't even like cake" but he ignores us. Peer pressure is a bitch. Other kids have cakes at their birthdays! That is what you do! And so he begs for a pirate ship cake.
I give in.
It tastes amazing too. Cake crack. Probably because I used a box mix from Trader Joe's. I was warned about the dangerous deliciousity and addictive properties of this particular cake (from The Cake of Angels) but when people tell me not to do something I pretty much get in line to do it. Jill maintains that she is "not responsible for the purchases of additional boxes or weight gain" but I don't know. I have another box in my pantry (because what if TJs stops carrying it! The horror! Must stockpile!) and it is all her fault.
I unveil it and await my accolades.
Instead, he offers a critique.
A "thank you" would have been nice. Sigh.
Okay, it needs a pirate. Fine. I grab a LEGO guy, tie a red piece of fabric on his head and press a black sticker on one eye.
Just look at how crafty I am in a pinch! He had better love this.
He is suffering from some major Appreciation Deficiency and I am suffering from being pissed off.
I take off the damn patch.
Fortunately, the toddler runs into the room…
And diffuses the situation with his Maximum Cuteness superpowers.
We all laugh and carry on with other party stuff.
Later, after the song is sung and candles are blown, we cut the cake.
I hand him a piece.
Later that same night, my husband and I are standing in the kitchen, eating cake leftovers. I tell him that there will be no cake next year. That I'm not making one again. No way.
But I just don't want to waste all that time and effort.
We eat our cake in silence for a few moments. Thinking.
Suddenly, I announce that I've just come up with a plan for what we'll do if he insists on a cake again.
So, I was nominated for the "Funniest Mom Blog" for Parents.com and the voting ends soonish. Ends this week in fact!
So pretty please (with full nights of sleep on top) vote for me? Or not. Whatever. Just an idea.
No really, please? Here is the place to vote for Crappy Pictures! Thank you!