Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Incredibly Four

Well, it is done.  Graham is four and, with the cake eaten and presents opened, I didn't even have to crack a beer or any skulls.  And that's no small feat, considering that my perfectionism pushes me to great heights while my sometimes limited patience knees me in the groin.

Because we'd broken the bank on the world's largest outdoor playset, we decided in advance to limit the gifts a bit and let them pick a fun event, like going to the museum or a movie, or even, in the biggest display of selflessness a parent can display, take them to Chuck E. Cheese.  Unfortunately I never had the chance.

Nothing terrible happened, exactly.  I set out to make an Incredibles themed cake per Graham's request, and thanks to my inexplicably lazy and sluggish attitude, I spent nearly all day Saturday rolling, cracking, re-rolling and cursing at store-bought fondant that never did cooperate.  (Got a good fondant recipe?  I'm all ears...)  When I thought I'd reached an acceptable stopping point, the Omnidroid robot firmly affixed and supported with dowels, I heard a thump and turned to see that the robot in question had not only fallen out, but the dowel previously helping to support its weight had torn a sizeable hole in the red fondant. 

It just couldn't be easy.

I didn't want to start over, not when my time on Sunday would already by filled with church activities and Graham's birthday requests, so I poured another soda and turned up the music, hoping the added stimulation would keep me awake long enough to finish the cake.

I gave up at 2:30am, not because I'd finished (or really even done anything more to correct the problem) but because I'd been staring at the wavy pattern on the side of a Kleenex box for so long that I was sure I'd seen Elvis' face.  Perhaps I should have included in on the cake.

That's the worst part of cake decorating for me.  I have the vision and enthusiasm of a professional, but the tools and speed of a three-- nay, four year old, and the only hours I can work without interruption come between 8pm and 5am. 

When Sunday rolled around, we attended church and I returned home to complete the cake, which cause me much less stress once I'd used the hole as an exit point for the robot.  And, because time was running out, I didn't put too much effort into the robot's limbs and other remaining details, choosing instead to go ahead with Graham's planned birthday photo shoot. 

When I returned home with only 15 minutes to spare before dinner and only giving brief thought to the fact that Graham never did force me into eating pizza at that migraine trigger of a restaurant get to choose an activity for his birthday, I was met with Joel's concerned questions.

"Did you get your camera bag?"

"Why?  Where was it?" I asked, slowly remembering that I'd placed it on the driveway behind my van when Graham and I walked across the street to snap some photos in the cornfield.

"I thought you were going to run it over, so I put it on top of the van."

Maybe we should have just visited Chuck E. Cheese.

I jumped back in the car and drove nearly three blocks before I found my black bag, sitting open but miraculously full of my accessories in someone's lawn.  When I returned home, my family was already there and ready to party, so they spent the duration of the night celebrating Graham.

I spent the time trying to pretend that it was okay with me to cut into the Incredibles cake I'd devoted the last 36 hours to crafting.

But in the end, with chocolate on his face and a smile big enough to light the room, candles or not, Graham's excitement got me through. 

Cael wouldn't mind if I just made lemon bars, right?


  1. Awesome cake, as usual!! : ) Shirley

  2. He is such a cutie!! 4 is a really fun age- I am lucky to get to hang out with my 4yr a lot!

    I am going to have to share this post with my hubby. He started making fun cakes for our boys when our oldest turned 2, and 6 years later he wishes he could take that moment back!!! He dreads all the work, but loves how excited the boys get when they see the finished cake. Your cakes are always soooo cute!!!


Leave your own "ism". Cael and Graham double-dog dare you.