On birthdays, mom fears, and stepping up the mom game
Confession: I think birthday cakes are scary. In my eyes, they are a whole lotta pressure masquerading in a shell of sweet innocence. I don't mind eating cake mind you, but making them is a different story. No one wants to botch their kid's birthday cake, and if you're lacking in the artistic talent to make it Pinterest-able, the pressure is on momma . . . the pressure is on.
Personally, I have an artistic side. But it doesn't manifest itself in beautiful cakes, drawings, or even my handwriting unfortunately. So I've stuck with cupcakes for my son's birthdays because
1. They are self serve. No uneven cake cutting shenanigans messing with my perfectionist tendencies.
2. You can sneak one to make sure they turned out alright and no one knows the difference. ;-) Potential bad tasting cake crisis averted.
3. My handwriting, and especially my icing-writing, leaves some (or a lot) to be desired in my opinion. No one expects "Happy Birthday" scrawled across the top of a cupcake. The pressure is off.
Hello, I'm an everyday mom and I overthink everything and feel the pressure to preform. I'm sure you've been here too momma friend.
But this year, I decided to do something different. I knew the smile it would put on my boy's faces, so I made a cake. One that was supposed to resemble something and required construction.
Mom fear cake edition: vanquished.
Gator loves Paw Patrol and construction. After spending some time on Pinterest and psyching myself up for it, I figured even my sub-par artistic skills could handle a mangled construction scene or a Paw Patrol emergency scene. After all, if something goes wrong, you just add some more craters or a couple more characters!
So, we set off to the store to grab supplies and I went about putting the cake together the next day. It was sketchy getting this thing put together; but all in all, it turned out pretty good! (pardon the cell-shot)
And hey, for an amateur I managed to create the suspense of a Paw Patrol emergency quite well (thanks to my sister for pointing this out!). Look at how bad it's leaning . . . you just don't know if Rubble will save the day . . . (another cell shot that I hadn't planned to add to the blog lol.)
Will Rubble save the day or will the birthday be ruined? I managed to capture the essence of Paw Patrol in a piece of confectionery art ;-) Mom for the win.
Thankfully, the cake made it to the end of the day still in tact and Gator had a great party. He loved his cake and both boys thought it was really cool.
And thankfully, this mom has a few more months to psych herself up for the next birthday cake . . .
As my boys are getting older, I'm enjoying the freedom that comes with it. They are a little more independent now and I love getting insight into them as they chatter. But, I've also found you have to step up your mom game a little. As they get older, they notice when you're slacking.
As we were driving out to purchase supplies for the cake, my oldest was talking on and on and on and on about the plow trucks, tractors, and semi-trucks we saw along the way. After several minutes of in-depth conversation, I kind of zoned out.
This is daddy's domain. Momma will never know all the specifics of plow trucks, tractors, and semi-trucks. I'll never remember all the years, makes, and models. And as far as I'm concerned, all construction equipment is simply called "diggers". I leave this part of my son's existence to my man.
Until I was jarred out of my thoughts by my son:
"Um, excuse me momma, I'm talking to you."
Apparently as they get older I'll need to step up my mom game more and more. But, I love this stage. I love watching my boys become little people. Even if they are starting to see through my lack of interest in trucks . . .
Back when my boys were still so little (not that they are big now, but you know), I used to wonder what this stage would look like. Would we always be in the perpetual cycle of no sleep, constant needs, and exhaustion? As my sons are growing older, I can say that the days are often long, but the years are short. And if you are in that stage, wondering what lies out ahead, here is what I can tell you:
There will be more long days and nights ahead, but there is so much fun awaiting you.
Each stage brings its own joys (and heartaches). But, there is so much wonder and excitement awaiting you in the toddler years.
You'll giggle as you hear them express the thoughts running through their minds.
You'll laugh when they break out singing the Pup-Pup Buggy from Paw Patrol and then start break dancing.
You'll love the joy in their discovery.
And you'll probably conquer some mom fears because you love them so much and that thing you're worried about (ahem, cake baking over here) will put a huge smile on their face.
And every now and again, you'll be reminded that your children are watching you. You may need to step up the mom game and try to be interested in the semi truck chatter . . . You know those bird watching books that help you identify the bird? Yeah, I need one of those for vehicles.
Anyway, enjoy the day and stage you're in today momma, and look forward to the future--I guarantee there is an uninterrupted shower awaiting us somewhere out there.