In the past 8 years I have made 14 birthday cakes. I’m a birthday cake maker.
My mother’s to blame. For the first several years of my life, my mom made and decorated all of my birthday cakes. So naturally, when it came time for the Cheese’s first birthday I decided to make his cake. I wasn’t about to be out-mothered by my own mother.
Here are some of the more recent cakes:
monkey party for the Monkey’s 4th at the monkey gym
golf party for the Monkey’s 5th
Lakers party (basketball cupcakes) for the Cheese’s 8th (not my greatest creation, but still darn cute)
Through the years there has been a lion cake for a circus party, 2 race car cakes, polka dots (i.e., bubbles) for the Monkey’s 1st, an opened crayon box, Mickey Mouse, Scooby Doo, Bat Man and several more. And I have made them all. Proudly.
“Did you make his cake?” a mother at the party would ask me.
“Yes,” I would reply, feigning modesty. “I did.”
Oh how I loved the accolades that my decorated cake would bring. I had created something beautiful, a lovely birthday cake, to celebrate the other thing that I had created, my child, who of course was beautiful too.
So this year, the Monkey decided that he wanted a football party. Namely, an OU football party. I knew right away what kind of cake I would make. This year would be easy. A simple sheet cake with green icing and green sanding sugar for the field with the Monkey’s name printed boldly in the end zones and an OU on the 50 yard line. I even bought six little football candles to decorate the field.
A piece of cake.
Then last Sunday we went to the grocery store. That’s where all of my cake plans went flying straight through the neon colored uprights like a well executed field goal kick.
There in the bakery store window sat two football cakes. Pre-made without motherly love football cakes. The football cake looked exactly like you think it would: a big, ol’ brown…uh…lump, with a couple of laces on the top. Total cake wreck. Anything but appetizing.
Next to that sat a severed football players head, helmet and all. It wasn’t awful. It was…okay, and the helmet was even painted red. But it certainly wasn’t homemade.
“Can I have that for my cake?!? I wanna have that!!! Can I have it!!! Can I have it…pulleeeeezzzzze?” the Monkey begged
My heart broke.
You see, for the past 8 years, every time I’ve made one of the boys’ cakes I’ve wondered to myself, “Do they really appreciate all of the time and effort I’ve put into this cake? Will they look back and see all of the love I put into their cakes and parties?” Seeing the Monkey’s complete delight over a store bought cake made all my fears come true.
They could care less.
So this Saturday, the day of the Monkey’s football sleepover party (only 2 friends this year! Can I get a loud “woo-hoo!” from all of the mommy’s in the crowd?) I will drive to the grocery store to pick up his cake and try my best to be happy about it. I guess it’s wrong to secretly hope for your child’s birthday cake will be a total cake wreck.
But I kinda do.