This morning as I wrapped my aging boy in a big wake-up cuddle and told him he was 3 years old today he said, “But when is my birthday?”
And I knew that the obvious answer, “today,” was not was he was looking for. He wanted to know at exactly what time he was going to be able to devour his cake.
“Do you mean when will you get to eat your birthday cake?” I asked of the son I know too well.
He nodded, eyes hungry-dreamy with anticipation.
Luckily nasty stomach bug finally decided to make a permanent departure last night so we decided a little icing-free cake consumption would be okay even if it doesn’t fall under the BRAT (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast) diet recommended for restoring little upset tummies to normal. We’re holding out on the decorated owl cake (which I’m imagining may look nothing like an owl by the time I get my novice hands on the cake decorating kit I’ve borrowed) for the small birthday party with friends that we postponed to next week.
So for our little just-the-family party today, box-mix cupcakes were the order of the day. And partly because Will loves to cook, and also because I was exhausted mom last night, I decided to let Will make his own birthday cupcakes with me. He enjoyed the project, but was talking throughout about when we would be able to eat the cupcakes.
I’m not foolish enough to think I can get away with cooking cupcakes before a toddler’s eyes and then expect him to wait several hours to sample them, so I told him we could split a cupcake and have a little tea party with his stuffed animals and then eat a WHOLE cupcake after dinner as part of our birthday celebration with daddy. One and a half cupcakes in one day is like a dream for sugar-deprived Will.
But Will didn’t want any part in the waiting-while-they-bake portion of the project. He wanted to sample his half-cupcake “NOW” even if it was, as I pointed out, just batter and looked like no cupcake he’d ever eaten before and would taste yucky besides. So for the first five minutes of cupcake baking, Will had his birthday cry.
And then he found peace with the fact that some things have to cook a bit, and we enjoyed a nice day together, filled with puppet shows, sheet-fort-building, play with Baby Suey (Will’s baby doll whose diapering and sleeping needs today coincided with Owen’s exactly), refusals to talk to anyone on the phone who wanted to sing him a birthday song because “I am too busy” (which I believe may be code language for “I’m feeling shy”), an early morning walk to the park that helped revive our sanity after a week cooped up in the sick house, and some indoor tackle football with daddy.
But the real bliss for Will came at the moment when, relatively ambivalent to the still wrapped presents beside him, he got to sink his teeth into his sweet fluffy cupcake – and eat it ALL.