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?)