Four years ago today I was in labor with my third child. Fortunately, the labor only lasted two short hours before I gave birth to the most darling, cuddly little baby boy. He has brought so much joy and amusement to our family. Nearly everyone who meets him falls under the spell of his "sapphire blue eyes".
Today we are celebrating his birthday in our very casual way. He and I and a few of the other members of our family have a cold (yes, it seems that someone is always sick) so we uninvited the guests who would have joined us for dinner and cake. His sister has been wrapping various items from around the house in blankets and presenting them to a very pleased little boy. He always responds with a surprised and excited sense of glee as he unwraps his copy of The Polar Express--"Oh, a book about a train!" or some of his Hot Wheels--"I like cars! Thanks!"
When my husband gets home from the store with more powdered sugar, I will make the frosting for his cake. Hopefully, it will end up the way he wants. THE CAKE is the only thing that he wants and the primary symbol of growing another year older. He marks his age progression by his cakes. Last week when I was so frustrated by our potty training failures, I threatened him that he would not get his birthday cake unless he started going potty ON THE POTTY! Yes, I may have been yelling a little bit. It was mean, I admit it. But it worked (knock on wood). So far, he hasn't had an accident since. Are you starting to understand the importance of the birthday cake?
For weeks before his birthday, he pulls out the "cake book" that his aunt kindly gave us for Christmas several years ago. I always think that I have hidden it well enough and he always manages to find it. He looks through it several times a day carefully studying each one (while I make underhanded and subliminal suggestions about the cakes that look the easiest to recreate). He ignores me. Maybe he would like that dinosaur cake or the UFO cake or maybe the turtle cake. Last year he finally decided on the frog cake.
I do not decorate cakes. I admit that right now. I am the type to bake a cake in a pan and frost it and then eat it quickly. Sometimes I make cupcakes. Normal ones. Nothing fancy. Not a bit like the ones Kara makes. Or better yet, I buy the cake from Costco--like on Saturday when my family got together to celebrate the birthdays of my son and two of my nephews.
So, last Thursday when he had decided that he wanted the "tiger cake", I seriously considered inviting a sweet young woman from my neighborhood who is talented and artistic to come over and recreate the tiger. I went to bed last night thinking: "I've got to go to the store and get Oreos, red licorice strings, chocolate sprinkles, orange food coloring and pretzels and I need to call Kathryn." Then, this morning after we sang a quick Happy birthday song, he announced that he has changed his mind. He no longer wants a tiger cake. He wants an Earth cake (I really hope this is not a result of all the "Green Brainwashing" and maybe just because he likes to watch Planet Earth). And I think I can handle that. We'll see when my husband returns with the powdered sugar. Wish me luck.
And maybe someone can help me with this one: yesterday he was singing a little song and he sang "my family is insane." I asked him where he learned that song and he said it was from the singers that wear the blue dresses and the black suits. We figured out that he meant the Mormon Tabernacle Choir but we still haven't determined which song he is singing. Any ideas?