So my little boy has turned three years old. Wow. I cannot believe he’s grown up so quickly! I have to say, I was a little stumped about how to celebrate his birthday. Three seems to be a big year – they are finally old enough to really enjoy all the fuss, so it’s really fun to celebrate. But how?
As much as I wanted to give him a real party (and had almost the whole thing planned out before the baby was born), I realized that it was too much for me to take on at the time. But I still wanted to make him a cake and celebrate. I just needed the perfect inspiration, which was escaping me.
After asking around on facebook, a friend who thought I was having a party suggested setting up a cupcake bar so the kids could do whatever they wanted to do to their cupcake. And I liked the idea of him decorating the cake, but wasn’t quite 100% sold on it.
Then it hit me how absolutely perfect that was.
I mean, what does a soon-to-be-three-year-old want more than anything in the world? Especially one whose whole life has been turned upside down in every which way within the past two months?
What my son likes most in the world right now – more than Cars stuff, chocolate chip cookies, trains and playing in leaves combined – is calling the shots, and with good reason. In the past few weeks, his whole world has been flipped about ten times over. All his friends moved to a new classroom without him, his favorite teacher left the school, he’s been potty training and let’s not forget about a new baby in the house and the constant in and out of visitors that’s resulted from that and then to finish off this crazy time, he’s moved up to the next classroom which is structured completely differently from his previous one. Just in time for the craziness of the holidays… it’s no wonder he’s trying to make everything go his way.
So I ran with it. I decided he’d have as much control of his birthday as he could. The day before his birthday, he helped make his cake. Cooking is one of this favorite activities, so he was in heaven. I made it even more personalized by dividing the batter and letting him choose colors to dye the batter and then letting him fill the cake pans by pouring spoonfuls of the different colors so we got a crazy supercolor marbled cake. That night, I frosted the cake.
The following day – his birthday – I set up the cake on the table with all sorts of stuff to decorate: glitter gels, Cars sugar decorations, edible dinosaur decals, sprinkles and tiny chocolate chip cookies the size chocolate chips. When he came home from preschool, he saw his birthday table and his eyes popped open wide. Just what this mama wanted.
We decorated the cake while dinner was cooking (and I use the term ‘cooking’ very loosely – I popped a frozen pizza in the oven because pizza is his favorite and I’m not superwoman so I wasn’t about to cook from scratch that day). We had so much fun and he was so proud of having done up his cake. And as an added bonus, we got some quality family time in what would normally be a hectic weeknight where we didn’t really connect.
What do you think of this confectionary masterpiece?
His cake looks fabulous. What a thoughtful celebration. I imagine he was thrilled all evening.
He talked about his birthday for days after! He’d still be talking about it if all the Christmas excitement hadn’t started up. He was so proud of his cake!