No Men on Pinterest

Men shouldn’t be allowed to access Pinterest.  Only heartache, broken dreams, and acknowledgement of the harsh reality of life can come of it.

Let me explain:

Last year, as my son’s third birthday approached, my husband showed me a picture he found on Pinterest and emphatically declared, “THIS SHALL BE MY SON’S CAKE ON THE DAY OF CELEBRATION FOR HIS BIRTH!”  Ok, so maybe not quite that ‘shoutty’ but you get the idea.

This was the picture:
As you can imagine, my husband’s motto is “Go big or don’t throw a party.”

Can’t say I disagree.  But up and to this point the process for ensuring that there is a cake for either of my children’s birthday parties involved showing them the options online {} then ordering said cake and picking it up.  The hardest part was making sure I didn’t drop it on the way to the party.

For Bella’s 5th birthday she threw me a curve ball by asking for a cheerleading cake.  Apparently, Publix (our supermarket of choice for cakes) doesn’t make a cheerleading cake.  Their solution (after explaining my dilemma to the very nice lady at the bakery) was a pink and purple cake and I went to Michael’s and bought stuff to make little toppers with cheerleaders on them.  That’s when I realized I kind of wish I was able to make cakes so my kids could have what they want.

But that’s where it ended.  An internal, only-to-myself wish that I had no intention of seeing through.

Then, in an instant, my hubs changed the game.

Publix didn’t have this super hero cake as an option on their website {because most 3-year-old birthday parties don’t require a super hero themed wedding cake, I would imagine}.

To have a bakery make this cake would have easily been $200, if not more.  I refused to pay that much for something that would eventually be poo’d out by 20 three-year-olds and maybe a parent or two.

So, I did what any self-respecting stubborn perfectionist would do.  I set out to make it myself.  How hard could it be?!  I used to LOVE to bake.  Before I had kids.  That means I hadn’t baked ANYTHING for 6 years.  SIX.  YEARS.

I figured a practice run would be best.  Ever see those “Pinterest fail” websites?  You know the one with the lamb?  This was worse.  I looked for a pic just to drive the idea home but apparently I was so mortified by it that I deleted any evidence.

One thing I know about myself is that I am a HUGE procrastinator.  I have been all of my life.  So I tend to do my best work under extreme pressure.  In college I once wrote a 10 page paper in Italian on an Italian movie the night before my 8 am class.  I got an A.  So, I’m pretty much an expert in waiting til the last minute then busting out a miracle.

But this was a little different.  If I failed, I would let my hubs down, my baby down, and other people not obligated by marriage or blood to love me for better or worse would know I failed.

As such, I decided in my brain that if I didn’t have a viable cake option {i.e. my best efforts failed miserably} by the morning of the party I would be at the 24-hour Kroger picking up the best option possible for my baby.  You know, like normal people do.

I was up all night.  I think I made it to bed at 3 am.  But it was ALL worth it.  Because my little man got this:

finished super hero cake

And Roman loved it, too.

It wasn’t perfect but both my guy who requested the cake and my three-year-old were ecstatic.  #winning

What I didn’t realize going into this was that I was setting a precedent.  Once I made a cool cake for my son, I had to reciprocate for my daughter 8 months later.

I expected her to want a cheerleading cake, or a Frozen cake, or something glittery and pink.  Nope.  My sweet Bella, who doesn’t play any musical instrument, wanted a piano cake.  A piano cake.  A cake made to look like a piano.  Seriously, what?

Hi ho, hi ho, it’s back to Pinterest I go…

She picked out this one:
She got this one:

finished piano cake

Again, not perfect but the gist was there.

And she loved it.  Both times I said I was done.  No more.  It’s too stressful, what if I mess up, what if I let everyone down.  SHUT UP, FEAR!

But here’s what I learned:

My kids love that EYE am making their cakes.  They have input.  They get exactly what they want.  It’s collaborative and they have a hand in it.

They see the creative process and hard work that goes into something that is usually taken for granted.  You go to the store and pick up a cake.  You don’t see the blood, sweat, and tears that can be shed in the process.  My kids see the effort, even if they don’t fully appreciate it right now.

There is such a sense of pride when other adults ask me where I bought the cakes and I can say that I made them myself.

I’ve always loved baking, even during the Great Baking Hiatus of 2008-2013.  And since I can remember I’ve lived for creating.

{The “creating” part, until this cake thing came along, was usually reserved for creating new voices for the pretend conversations our animals have or imaginary characters I make up when I’m telling my babies a bedtime story about Prin the Princess who goes on a magical adventure with her troll friend CeeCee to defeat the evil Duke.} 

I’m getting better at this cake making thing.  I actually like it {dare I say, love it?}.

This year I talked my Roman into cupcakes thinking it would be quicker and easier.  Nope.  Again, up most of the night.  This is what he got:

finished super hero cupcakes

Another hit.  This time, I’m actually PROUD of how it turned out.

By the way, this really isn’t that hard.  Cake mix from a box, buttercream icing, boxed fondant, tracing of templates, and voila.  The hardest part is making these creations with a kid hanging off your leg, getting interrupted ten times, and trying to figure out how to do something you’ve never done before.  Each time it gets easier.

I think you should try it.  You may just find a new hobby!

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