Tuesday, June 19, 2012

the story behind the unusual cake

There are a couple of blogs I like to read that involve mothering and food and domestic life. Whenever they present a piece of food, it looks delicious and wonderful and shiny and new and as if they had no trouble whatsoever in the process of preparing it. And, somehow, they have time to stop and take impeccable photos along the way. You know the ones I'm talking about.

Due to these blogs, I was inspired to make something glorious for my son on his fifth birthday. Fifth. As in, five. I can't get used to it. I envisioned a delightful strawberry shortcake cake covered in a spider web with a little Spiderman figurine on top because Graham loves all things strawberry and he's pretty into Spiderman and superheros these days. It was going to be perfect. And I was going to let Graham help me make it and decorate it.

That's where the story begins. It was time to frost the cake. I only had 30 minutes to work with before it was time to get the kids ready for bed (bedtime for the kids is rarely compromised in our house). I dabbed the first dollop of frosting onto the strawberries and my heart stopped when I heard an explosion coming from where Alaina was sitting. When Alaina poops, it's always an explosion. When we were in Florence with our friends, she was happily riding along on her dad in the Bjorn when suddenly our friend, Elena, exclaimed "Ahhhhhhh!" while pointing in Tony's direction. Poop was oozing from every direction. Yes, I just said, "oozing." Sorry. Out of the Bjorn, onto the street, and onto Tony's shorts. I ran to the nearest church and thanked the gods who invented baby wipes. So, cake decoration was interrupted by one of these explosions as I ran Alaina toward the bathroom with Graham behind me shouting, "MOM! It's dripping onto the floor!"

I was carefully peeling off Alaina's onsie, trying desperately not to get poop all over her head, thinking about how to make that cake look good and how to clean up the poop drippings and whether to just put Alaina to bed before trying to finish the cake or to keep her up and put the kids to bed at the same time, but her chair was all messed up on account of the poop, and she can be cranky without her chair, so I should probably just put her to bed, but she definitely needs a bath right this minute, so I should go ahead and do that, and Graham is asking me something about sting rays. "Huh? Graham? What did you say?"

"Do sting rays lose their stingers when they sting someone?"

"Um, yes. I think so. Aw, geeze, Graham, I don't know. Can you please plug the sink?"

"The what?"

"The sink."


"Plug the sink, please."


"Never mind."

"Sting rays float along in the ocean, right?"

"Aw geeze."

So, now I'm thinking about sting rays and how to answer Graham's questions while bathing Alaina and making sure not to let her slip out of my hands while Graham is swinging like a monkey on the towel hanging on the towel hook. I forgot to stop and tell him to be careful. He was standing on his stool, grabbing the towel, then jumping into the air and swinging, saying, "Weeeeeeeeeee!!" He swung back toward the sink, and BAM! he hit is mouth on the counter. Game over. Blood everywhere. Slippery baby, bleeding, crying son. Blood and poop all over the place. Crying baby, too, because she's cold. I can't tell you how I made it through. I just went into some kind of mother's instinct superhero survival mode and got Alaina calmed and happily put to bed and Graham consoled at the same time. It just happened. Don't ask me how.

On to the cake decorating once again. It turns out that I am such a far cry from those amazing bloggers that I can't even make a spider web with frosting, so I just let Graham do it all by himself. Then the piping bag burst and we all just went to bed.


At least the cake tasted delicious.


The end.


  1. Wow, Katherine!!! Sounds like you are Supermom! The cake looks perfect for the occasion! I can't believe Graham is five?!? I remember talking to you before you had him. AND, I remember his 3rd birthday party and dump truck cake like it was yesterday. Time flies!

  2. Oh Katherine...this story is amazing to picture in my head. Kudos to you for making it happen even when situations are wrought with blood, poop, and icing. Hugs to you for being a spectacular woman. :)