How did you spend your weekend? Did you go out and party? I spent Friday night baking cupcakes. I love to bake. I am not an expert at all. My cakes and pies often come out looking ugly. Cookies always come out perfect. I have a talent for chocolate chip and peanut better cookies. Yes, better….better than sex, almost. They are famous.
So when my husband’s twin boys, my bonus babies, asked for cupcakes I got excited. It was the week of their ninth. They love my ugly cakes. I was super stoked that I would get to bake for them. Then I found out they wanted a real birthday party. One with friends from school, with balloons and presents, the works…I began to panic.
Breathe in and out. You can do this! You used to do this all the time.
See, I am a second chance mom. I have a grown daughter who is thirty-something with kids of her own. I baked cakes and cookies. I threw her parties at home with all the paraphernalia kids love, including goodie bags of trinket items from the dollar store. I was loved by all children near and far, in our neighborhood anyway. My fear of this real party was ridiculous.
I asked, “What kind of cupcakes would you like?” Thinking they, being twins, would want the same thing. A couple of dozen yummy cupcakes and viola. They answered in unison with different ideas of the perfect cupcake.
Twin 1: “Chocolate with chocolate frosting.”
Twin 2: “White cake with strawberry frosting.”
I answered, “OK, so how many kids in your class?” as I thank God that they are in the same class at school. Again, unison, “22”
Cool, two dozen, one of each flavor….wait…what? I begin to do the math.
22 children x 2 cupcakes each= 44 . There will be adults assuming that third graders can’t drive themselves to a party…that is at least one parent per kid, so another 22. Then there are 3 more children in my house who will want cupcakes that is another half dozen more and there is my husband who will certainly want a couple as well….
Oh. My. Goodness. 6 dozen cupcakes.
Friday night I baked cupcakes. I cheated. I used box mixes. Do you know there is a handy chart on the back that says how much you will get out of the mix? It read 24 cupcakes per box. It is fairly accurate. I got a few more, but that’s good, right? I baked 6 dozen and decided it did not look like enough. I baked one more box mix, just safe. They weren’t the prettiest cupcakes. Not my best work. I had to remind myself kids do not care. They want to pick the cupcake that has the most frosting gobbed on top of it. They do not care if it is pretty when they shove that sucker into their mouth in one or two bites.
After eight dozen, actually 103 little cake devils, I was done. I fell into bed completely exhausted. Did I mention that I had worked a full day before I got home that evening to help my husband cook? We had to feed ourselves, and five children dinner. Wash the dishes and all that too. Yes, we have five kids at home. Then we had friends over for game night and I baked cupcakes. I had a little bit of help from daughter #4 who likes to cook. She is eleven. She helped and decided it was sort of boring. Cupcakes are not like a fancy strudel or pie. And we can’t use the rolling pin. Rolling dough is one of her favorite things to do in the kitchen.
Here’s the joy in all this….life is about the sweet stuff. It is about the bright little faces who were excited to lick spoons. It is about the husband who is proud that his wife baked the cupcakes instead of calling the bakery. (If the bakery had a 24-hour hotline, I would have called them, but he doesn’t need to know that.)
Life is about the sweet moments and cupcakes. Sometimes it is about cookies and wine. More on that next time.