We recently celebrated Toby's 8th birthday. It wasn't on his birthday, because he was born 3 days after Christmas and is destined to spend most of his birthdays in a van driving back from Texas. But we celebrated it, late and at Chuck E Cheese. Usually I think Chuck E Cheese was inspired by a person's near-death experience in which they traveled to hell and saw the whole thing and the devil told them they had to stay unless they swore to recreate that, the darkest room of hell, on earth, and so they did, and franchised it, but the "As Seen in Hell!" slogan never paid off so they changed it to "where a kid can be a kid". (Side note to the longest run-on sentence in recent blog history: isn't that the Toys-R-Us slogan as well? Discuss amongst yourselves.)
This time, it wasn't so bad. All the other kids in Kansas City were home, because we don't drive in the snow here, and so we had the place pretty much to ourselves. The boy wanted a Minecraft party, but they don't have "Minecraft Party" decor section at Party City and I was going to have to build some boxes with pixelated symbols and make axes out of foam and things, because, Toby. So I suggested CEC and a Minecraft cake, with minecraft cupcakes for school the next day. And the boy took my offer. (Whew).
As most of you know, I am very good at making cakes. Also I lie a lot. My cakes are labors of love, which usually are very humorous to look at. Toby is the ultimate cake appreciator, though, and always says "It's exactly what I wanted!" when I'm done, with total sincerity. I know that might not last forever, but man. Gold.
A glimpse into my cake-making process:
- I see a cake on the internet and I think, surely that can't be that hard (spoiler alert: it could)
- I purchase 3 times the supplies needed, because I remember the Alamo
- I bake for a day, and have to renew my Salvation Certificate somewhere between the-cake-is-stuck-to-the-pan and 4000 people asking if they can please just have ONE lick of raw egg
- I assess the damage and make plan B and C. "Maybe it can be more of a dinosaur shaped pony," I think, "or a rock..."
- I cover up the cake with all of the frosting everywhere
- I accept the things I cannot change, and have the courage to realize it will still be delicious
"Why don't you just buy a cake?" maybe you're asking, and hey, I smell what the Rock is cooking. But a) store-bought cakes usually taste like sponges with toothpaste and b) I really, really enjoy making them. Even the failing part is fun to me, once I figure out what degree of fail I will achieve. The rainbow cake is probably my very favorite, and I actually plan to try that one again someday. Just try to remember, covetousness is a sin, so don't be coveting my decorating skills or you will end up at CHUCK E CHEESE someday, for eternity.
(Disclaimer: all of the photos of good-looking cakes on the first half of my graphics are from Pinterest, not my property or in my skill-set. If you know the official source of the photo, tell me and I will credit them. I tried researching but Pinterest is a black hole. End disclaimer)