Wednesday, December 07, 2005

let them eat cake

It was Laura Lou's birthday on the weekend. This is her 'fairy cake', made by special request. It could have done with a bit more smooooothing of the frosting, but overall I was pleased. Laura said, "Mummy, it's beautiful!", so that was all I needed to hear.

For some reason, I feel compelled to make fanciful birthday cakes for my kids' birthdays. It's like I'm not a decent mother unless I make some elaborate iced creation (don't worry, I don't extend this ridiculous expectation to any other mothers! - it seems to be something I apply only to me). I think it may all be traced back to my mother, who lovingly whipped up clowns, dolls and other edible artworks for my various birthdays. My mother was and is a very caring person, and put herself out in so many ways for me. Now I'm trying to be as good a parent to my children as my mother was to me. Cake is seemingly irrelevant here, but I guess somehow I take it as a symbol... that in this one aspect of my kids' birthdays, I'll go to some trouble, I'll take some time, I'll stretch my limited cake-sculpting abilities to breaking point! (again, please no backlash from those who buy their kids' cakes - this is my own bizarre, twisted, self-imposed rule. And I don't make Happy Birthday signs or hang lots of ballooons for when they wake up or hold lavish birthday parties).

The funny thing is, the first fancy cake I ever made, for Louey, aged 2, was a clown cake - just as my mother made for me at age 2. I bought the actual cake slab, then shaped and iced it. It looked pretty snazzy, but I felt like I hadn't done a 'proper' job, like Mum would have, because I'd bought the sponge from a bakery. When I sheepishly admitted this to Mum, she laughed, saying, "Oh, I always bought the sponge cake, too!"

I guess everyone has certain birthday rituals they have either created fresh for their children, or have followed, as was the custom in their childhood. Feel free to share your stories - I'd love to hear them (for those without ratbags/children/call-them-what-you-will... any special memories from your own childhood birthdays?)


hiro said...

Hi Jellyhead,
It's a beautiful and cute cake! I thought your kids were happy and had a very good birth day.
I think that to spend time and effort for children and husband is 'Love'. However I also make cake and other dishes all by myself(from start to end) in order to save money.;)

susan said...

Okay, a doctor, poet, and a creator of beautiful cakes? Will your talents never end?

I took a cake decorating class a LONG time ago, learned how to make roses etc. My oldest daughter wanted a Cabbage Patch cake for her birthday (the Cabbage Patch dolls were all the rave at the time). So with green icing I made roses that weren't quite opened up, put them in rows on the cake top, and told the kids they were cabbages. They fell for it! It is fun making special cakes for special occasions, they usually taste better and make better memories. Good for you!

Motherkitty said...

Precious beyond words. I wish I was that talented. Plain cakes, usually without icing, and fancy breads are my specialties. Just think, if you ever gave up medicine, you could open up your own bakery and still make a living. Everyone would want a fancy cake if they were made as cute as your fairy cake.

BTW, just returned from an MD appointment because, believe it or not, I'm still sick. Diagnosis: mycoplasma pneumoniae. He said it could go on for three months. So, have had an injection in the glut, blood test, Rx for strong antibiotic, Codimal, lots of fluids, come back in a week. What a bummer. Hope I'm feeling well enough to have family for Christmas.

Glad you are back online. We have missed you.

Alice said...

I was never a great cake maker but have made "Hickory Dickory Dock" a couple of times. One year my son had a soccer field and for his 30th birthday surprise party this year I did a hockey field cake complete with nets and two hockey teams in their playing colours. Most of the time the children wanted 'farm' cakes (guess it reminded them of enjoyable holidays on grandparents' farm). So it was a case of boil a few of their plastic farm animals, fences and trees, spread the cake with coconut dyed green and put the animals in their appropriate paddocks. Some blue paper sufficed for a pond. Dead easy!

Motherkitty said...

Thank you for your kind words and good advice. I think I need a friendly nudge in the right direction. Husband has been taking good care of me -- shopped for groceries and brought me slippers this evening. He's still obsessed about bare feet on a cold tile floor. How nice is that.