My dear friend Kate and I have something in common besides being moms of three-year-old twins. We’re insane. For our kids’ birthday parties, we both decided to completely pass off the work to one of the 18,000 kiddie gyms on the Upper West Side. They plan and run the party, they provide the space, they order the pizza and juice boxes, they make the goody bags, they clean up and all we have to do is sign the credit card receipt. Piece of cake, right? Not if you are a momamasochist like us.
Kate and I both could not leave well enough alone, and we decided that even though the gyms provide the birthday cakes, we would make them ourselves. I figured it would be fun and it would probably save some money, so off I went to two supermarkets and Michael’s to get all the supplies. Yup, three different stores where I spent over $100. Since the cost saving objective was out the window, I said screw it and decided to make one cake for each kid. At 8:00 PM on the night before the party, I started to decorate the cakes – a skull pirate and a princess. The pirate actually wasn’t too difficult and came out pretty decent, but the princess…the damn princess.
As I decorated the princess cake, things seemed to be going well except for a few minor details along the way. Here were the small issues I encountered:
- The sleeveless, v-neck dress I drew on her looked like it was from Loehmann’s.
- Her hair was poofed a la Peggy Bundy.
- The black icing I used for her eyes and eyelashes was a little too thick and runny.
- I messed up her lips and attempted to fix it by adding layers of pink until they were, shall we say voluptuous.
- Speaking of voluptuous, this princess needed a breast reduction.
I was so razor focused on getting all of the tiny details on this cake right that I didn’t step back and actually look at the whole thing until about an hour into decorating. Based on my list of issues above, can you guess what I saw when I finally did take a moment to admire my creation? You are correct, instead of a princess, I had made a cougar. Not the four-legged, furry, lethal kind. The two-legged, furry, 48-year-old, lethal kind. I needed to fix this, and fast before Addy’s third birthday party was ruined by my old, slutty cake. I did the best that I could do at midnight with my eyes crossing and my hands shaking, and shaved a few years off of the poor hag before heading to bed much later than I had planned. It’s amazing I didn’t have nightmares that night because this is what slept in my fridge:
In the end, the kids loved the cakes and I felt I had done my part to make their third birthday, which they are sure to never remember, unforgettable.
Last weekend, we went to Kate’s kids’ birthday party and saw this homemade treasure chest cake that she slaved over as well:
Reflecting on our creations, she asked this question: is it extreme love or plain insanity that possessed us to make these cakes? The answer is a little of both.
If losing sleep to decorate your kid’s cake is insane, then lock me up and throw away the key. Besides, you have to do it now. If we as parents try this stunt when are kids are a few years older, they will, by then, care about things looking polished and we’ll be out of a job whether we like it or not. Get while the gettin’s good.
HA! Such a good point! They’re still a little too young to be embarrassed by the things we do (for them) so we should enjoy their unbridled excitement over the small and imperfect things now!