Hope's 2nd Birthday


Hello, Sugar! It’s Birthday Season at the cottage. Hope let me do whatever I wanted with her birthday cake. Since she doesn’t yet have any special interests or hobbies, I mostly wanted the cake to be girlie, and as I was thinking about my options, I narrowed it down to a sunflower or butterfly theme. I found many ideas on the internet for a butterfly cake or cupcakes and they all kept referring to a book called Hello, Cupcake! I decided I need to buy this book for today and many future birthdays. What sold me, though, was a instructional video on YouTube that showed a seemingly human woman whipping out chocolate butterflies with only a ziplock bag full of candy melts and a twist of the wrist. I was fooled into thinking this was going to be easy. In retrospect, she obviously practiced her technique for who-knows-how-long until she could squeeze out a butterfly and talk at the same time. I cleared everyone out of the kitchen, multiple times, and made a really BIG mess. I wished I had bought more than one bag of each color candy melt I needed. I was thankful my mutated, deformed bugs hardened and could be recycled. None of them remotely resembled the beautiful creatures on YouTube or in the book. I practiced until I used all the colored candy I had, and then I decided to do the best I could with the lumpy things my efforts had produced. 


When I was brainstorming this cake, over a period of weeks, it got more and more elaborate in my imagination. I decided to make the butterflies pink, yellow, and purple. I decided to make a white cake and tint the three layers to match the butterflies, so it would be a delightful surprise when we cut into it. That was before Chance decided to sneak into the kitchen and eat every last pink butterfly when I wasn’t watching. At least, I am blaming Chance because no one else will admit to it, and I hope if any of my own dear children ever did such a thing, they would at least be kind enough to throw away the waxed paper the butterflies were drying on, rather than toss it on the kitchen floor for the kitchen fairy. In the end I had butterflies to spare, if not variety. 


Hope needed help blowing out her candles, and I suspect she did not make a birthday wish, but she had no trouble at all opening her gifts. That is one benefit to having your birthday right on the heels of Christmas. Grandma gave her a toddler sized scooter, new shoes, and a bucket of bubbles, which were confiscated and used up by a selfish sibling. She put on her new shoes, stuck them under the dog’s nose and commanded, “Wook! My shoes!” We hope the dog got the message. We will take care of the sibling. 

  



We gave her a talking tea pot with cups and plastic petit fours, a cell phone that has an autodial for Grandma, and a Magna-Doodle, hoping to channel her artistic efforts away from the walls. I’d say the tea pot was the favorite gift. It sounds like it is really pouring when tipped. We drank pretend tea all weekend. Hope even tried dunking the petit fours in the tea pot. We knew she was going to love her gifts because we took her to Wal-Mart and let her pick them out herself. She thought we were just playing, but we were narrowing it down to what really interested her AND would not annoy us. Think volume in terms of sound as well as pieces. 


   



We all had a wonderful time. We let the children stay up late and play Pictionary with us. That game hasn’t been opened in over 15 years, and I wasn’t sure we needed to keep it if we were never going to use it. All this time we thought the children were too young, but they surprised us. Even Victoria who just learned how to read, and Grace who asserts that she can not draw a stick figure, managed to keep up. We had a girls’ team and a boys’ team, with a cheerleader for each. I’ll tell you that the girls won soundly because we are all on the same wavelength and everything in our world is related. The boys have each subject boxed up and draw their pictures from the top down, as in slice off the roof and draw a picture of the art gallery looking in from the top. Huh? Victoria drew a box and we all said, “Refrigerator!” It works. You’d be surprised how many times that one word will get you in the right room. It did not get us far enough when the word was “biscuits”, but I am sure we would have gotten that one, too, if we had not run out of time. The laughter was worth the late bedtime, and we were none the worse for the wear in the morning. 


Wish you all could have been here. 

© Being Fruitful, 2012