I’ve been a member of various BabyCenter birth boards since March of 2007, when I found out I was pregnant for the first time. It’s always been my go-to site for tips on how to introduce solids, or how get my wailing baby to sleep through the night. And perhaps most important – how to throw an over-the-top 1st birthday party.
Unbeknownst to me, all babies expect lavish 1st birthday parties complete with themes, printed invitations, goody bags, and of course, the centerpiece – a beautifully decorated cake with its own side kick – the smash cake. The latter being the cake that baby gets to smash with her clenched little fists and then smear all over her face like someone who just played a mean joke on herself.
Let’s just say I wasn’t that organized that first year. Not even close. Not that I aspire to be the kind of mom who throws lavish parties every year for my children, but even having my across-the-hall neighbor swing by for leftovers would have been a nice compromise.
Feeling a wee bit guilty, the plan to bake a cake for Lauren’s 1st birthday happened on the day of her birthday…at 5PM when I got home from work. And this wouldn’t be any old birthday cake. It was going to be a butterscotch layer cake, towering and impressive for my audience of 1. Those smash cake moms had clearly camped out on my eardrum and were gently bouncing up and down, telling me to do something historic or nothing at all.
As you can imagine, by 7:30PM, I was covered in flour and caramel, racing to get my layers iced. Lauren was perched on the counter in her bouncy chair, staring daggers at me because it was past her bedtime and she wasn’t pleased with this last-ditch effort to bake her a cake that she didn’t even want.
But at long last, the cake was done. Rodney and I stuck a candle in it, turned the lights down, sang happy birthday in a sing-songy whisper, and presented her with her beautiful cake.
She took a bite and gummed it around for a minute, frowning. And then vomited. On-the-cake. This apparently happens in real life, not just in bad sitcoms. Like watching a fake wipeout on TV, viewers would be shaking their fists at me, yelling “I hate this show. That would NEVER happen!”