As a child, my mom made (just like I’m pretty sure most moms did) my birthday cake each year. There was the Barbie cake with long flowing skirt, the Garfield cake, and the Care Bear cake, among others. All homemade, slightly-odd looking, and generic, but I loved them.
Those cakes were memorable to me—I don’t remember much about the parties or many of the presents, but I remember those cakes. One year when Chris was a kid, the cake turned into such a catastrophe that when it came time to sing Happy Birthday, there was a pan of cake and, next to it, a bowl of icing. Cake and dip. Now that’s funny.
So when it came time for Ellie’s birthday she requested I make her cake. This was for the family party, for the friend party at Chuck E. Cheese, because I bought that. I didn’t want to subject non-family members to my cake creations and wanted them to be confidant the cake they were eating was safe. But with our family, they got to suffer through a homemade cake.
Ellie has been planning her birthday cake for months. I know that sounds odd for a two year old to do, but it’s the truth. A friend at my work gave me some cookbooks for kids since her son had outgrown them and one of the books just happened to be a birthday cake book. About 35 pages of cake ideas for kids. And Ellie loves “reading” that book. So when it came time to decide what cake I was making, she was ready.
The verdict: a kitty cake and a purse cake.
Two cakes? Who does she think she is? And how big does she think this party is going to be? She already thinks every day is her birthday and now the little brat wants two cakes for her party? That is ridiculous.
I made two cakes.
I am a horrible mother who caved to her daughter. This will be the last time, I promise.
Here’s why I’m proud of those cakes: because one day when my girls are older, we’ll get to sit around and talk about those messed-up cakes. We’ll get to make fun of my cake skills the same way we do with my mom whenever cake stories come up. Those cakes are going to be remembered if for no other reason than because they were homemade.
Ellie loved both her cakes and no matter how they looked, they tasted great.
Would a store-bought cake have been easier, turned out nicer, and saved tons of time? Yes, yes, and yes. But instead, I got to spend the day making cakes, a giant mess in the kitchen, and memories.
And I wouldn’t change that for anything.