All Rocco wanted today was a dinosaur cake. This kid has been counting down his birthday since back in December, when a newly 9-year old Max opened all his presents complete with a chorus of wailing. "I WANT! When is mine? Mummy, when is mine birsday? WAH."
Today, this very day right now, is Rocco's birsday. He is three. It is the official end of babydom.
For the past few nights, he's gone to sleep clutching a book ... a birthday cake making book. No shit. The pages are all worn, his teeny heart set upon a huge green T-Rex. I pride myself on cake decorating, man. Over the years I have done Shrek, Spiderman, Mario Galaxy, Lego, Buzz and Woody. My personal favourite was walking into a class of first graders carrying a very impressive Bart Simpson - I got a spontaneous round of applause.
The trick is to buy the sponges ready-made. If you bake it yourself, you're exhausted before you've even begun. Cutting corners and outsourcing - isn't that what good parenting is made from?
So Rocco is completely dinosaur-crazy, which is refreshing. There is no licensed dinosaur character (yet) ... so it's all generic. His passion lies with T-Rexs. Too easy.
Last night, after getting home at 7.30pm and lighting the fire, vacuuming, wrapping twenty presents, showering stinky boys ... it was time to decorate the cake. Dave tried to tell me how to do it, I told him for the gajillionth time, that he was not the boss of me. (He's the boss at work, comes home and tries to tell me what to do. There has been a lot of I AM NOT YOUR APPRENTICE shoutings, before he's gotten the hint.)
It was 9.30pm. I began to weave my magic.
Alas I had no skewers to secure the head, so had to ask Dave for structural help anyway. Which he loved. He carved out this cool Pacman shaped head, and thought he was SO clever. I thought of BabyMac's post about cake wars with her husband.
It was time to start. There was no traction, so I had to ice the whole thing with my fingers. I had to layer so much on there to get it to look cool. It took much longer than anticipated. So frustrating. Whose dumb idea was this? Why was everybody in bed but me? Should've outsourced from Michel's.
Dave's head looked .... wonky. I twisted it and turned it. The head icing started to melt from my hot clammy hands. (Dave affectionately calls me "the clamster." I affectionately call him "the dickhead.")
I watched, in slow-motion, as the Pacman T-Rex head disintegrated before my eyes. Like Michael Jackson; it just had too much work done.
It was close to midnight. I needed to make more icing and cut another head out. All I really wanted to do was punch this stupid dinosaur cake to smithereens, go and wake Dave up and say YOUR CAKE HEAD SUX but I didn't because I have wonderful self-control.
(If a mother calls her childs birthday cake a c-bomb in the middle of the night and nobody hears it because they are all sleeping after not helping her vacuum ... does it even count?)
I iced a whole new head, the image of Rocco's reaction spurring me on. But it wasn't what I thought it was going to look like at all. It had become a lowly stegosaurus. Pffft.
That showed him!
He loved it. That's all that matters. He still thinks it's a T-Rex. He opened all of his presents with glee and with gusto. I was tired, but happy to see him happy.
Later, as I took this photo, I noticed two pieces of hair sticking up. And the burning love I felt for this little creature - this boy, this baby t-rex - outshone all the struggles and the PPD and the crap and the tricky circumstances of his birth.
I do not doubt my love for him anymore. The relief in that sentence makes me cry.
Happy Birsday, Rocco. Life will hand you many a stegosaurus, my sweetheart. May you always see a T-Rex.
PS Champ, you're three. You can start sleeping through the night any time you want to.