Posted By jayna on September 29, 2010
Today is the husband’s 30th birthday. The old man jokes began weeks ago, gifts were given days ago and the “big day” expectations were running pretty low. I had once threatened to throw him a surprise party, and then he reminded me that we actually have no friends that would find time in their busy lives to show up. Point taken, I settled for cooking an abnormally nice dinner and baking a favorite cake.
Whether they knew it was a special day, or whether all of my previous efforts have begun to pay off, I’ll never know, but the girls behaved beautifully all day. We had a pleasant trip to the grocery store, I cooked and baked for two hours with their cooperative help, and they both actually napped long enough for me to clean the house a bit. M came home from work and they cuddled and played and continued behaving like angels while I finished dinner. Manicotti and scallops were served for dinner, plates were licked clean and then out came the cake.
Cake number one.
Not the husband’s favorite and most requested cake, but an oddly shaped yellow monstrosity with “Happy Birthday” piped haphazardly around the edges.
E was twitching in her seat from excitement.
A few weeks ago, we found ourselves watching America’s Funniest Home Videos while at my mom’s house. A montage of birthday cake mishaps played and they finished with a spectacular one of a birthday cake exploding when it was cut in to. Fake and filled with a ballon, it sent icing all over the table and shocked the birthday boy. My mom and I looked at each other and had the same thought. For weeks, E and I secretly planned our fake cake. This morning I blew up balloons, searching for the perfect one. I baked a simple cake to hold it steady, and spread the hideous yellow icing to cover the evidence.
I hid the real cake in the basement.
I harped on E all day long. Surprise. Surprise. Surprise. It’s a surprise. Don’t tell Daddy what’s in the cake. Remember it’s a surprise.
She made it all the way through dinner, glancing into the kitchen every once in a while to peek at the cake. The dishes were cleared and the candles were lit. She watched every move I made while walking to the table with the plate. We all sang “Happy Birthday” and they blew out the candles.
I handed the husband a knife.
Turned on the video camera.
And asked him to cut the cake.
“There’s a balloon in it!”
She tried so hard, but those last 10 seconds were just beyond her and her three year old’s self control.
It didn’t matter anyways, as he cut into the cake. Instead of the expected explosion, there was a gentle whoosh as the icing fell and the balloon deflated. Failure.
Funny. One for the family memories. But epic failure.