Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Taste-testing toothpaste (and other grocery store disasters) ...

Cake was finally eaten, but there are, admittedly, some lingering apprehensions about fire and frosting. 
In the months leading up to the Powerful Baby Girl's birthday, I had decided that all I cared about was that she have a cake decorated with an image of Champ the Dog, the ma-cos (mascot) of one of the local universities. Rather than go into great detail about her affinity for Champ, I will just concede that I sometimes go miles out of my way to drive past his likeness on the side of the hockey arena and endure the ensuing run-on sentence that is her repeating "champthedog champthedog" for upward of an hour because, well, I like her so much.

As her birthday neared and I ran out of time to find someone to make this specific cake, I decided I would bake cupcakes inside of a cone, then fashion the frosting into something that looked like a scoop of ice cream. Still cool, without the will-she, won't-she surrounding eating a piece of dessert that had been carved out of her favorite character's bulldog face (using a sharp and dangerous weapon.)

Then, at midnight on the eve of her birthday, I found myself at the local grocery store -- not even the fancy grocery store -- trying to decide between a pre-made "Frozen" cake and a pre-made "Sesame Street" cake and opting for the latter because it included a mini Elmo and a mini Big Bird each in its own mini vehicle.

I couldn't decide if this was the most pathetic trip to the g-store in the history of my existence (it would rival the time Fannie and I taste-tested toothpastes at Barlows before settling on Close Up), or if it was proof that I am a woman who understands my own limitations (and how to buy back two cake-baking hours of my life.)

On game day none of this really mattered. I'd not quite prepared the old girl with intel about the heat of candles. A major oversight. I have been quite self-congratulatory about how I showed her both a thunderstorm and fireworks on YouTube before she encountered either in real life. But the words: "Candle. Hot." eluded me, so I knelt in front of her and we all sang her "cake song" and she reached through the fire to grab mini Elmo. Then she drew back quickly and gave me a pained and confused look like Michael Jackson certainly must have once given Pepsi Cola.

Chin trembled. Refused to eat cake at all.

We had a good sized party with a lot of friends and family and friends who feel like family. We served a buffet of Chacha's favorite foods, including Macaroni & Cheese, goldfish crackers, hummus and a fruit bowl. She sort of skittered around and kept saying "your turn!" to whoever was trying to give her a gift. Eventually she dissolved into a no-nap, weeping mess of stoplookingatme and everyone took that as a cue to leave.

We got our girl back when she matched us slice-for-slice at Vitta Pizza.

This is right after she told me there were boogers on the table.
The night before the party, I ran a 5 mile race on Park Point in like 89-ish degree heat. All along the route, the Park Pointian's directed sprinklers and sprays in the direction of the runners. I spent 48 minutes house shopping and imagining life with a closet full of terry cloth swim covers and pothole sized straw hats. I'm pretty sure my family requires a small beach house filled with window nooks for reading books by Judy Blume and the "Valley of the Dolls" series. 

Anyway, I managed to finish faster than a few people I'd marked as targets, including: the sexy late-teen in matching bun-huggers and sports bra, the woman who kept jockeying with me for position and the guy 10 strides in front of me as the finish line neared. The running season has been a good one so far. Must find my next race. 

You're probably wondering if I could have made my kid a birthday cake in the time it took me to run 5 miles. (I guess we'll never know.)

On Sunday night, Chuck and I assembled a Melissa and Doug kitchen set, using an incomplete set of instructions and zero booze. She woke to find this waiting for her and was thrilled, though she thinks it's called a "chicken," so there is still work to do. 

Chacha's actual, real-live birthday was on Monday and Chuck and I both canceled our respective Daily Obligations so that we could have a family fun day. We went to the zoo. We threw rocks in the lake. We ate burgers at Fitger's Brewhouse and then came home and tried the whole cake-song, candle thing again. 

Bear cave moments

She thinks that first O looks like her cat Hal.

Handsome dad on the zoo train.
French fries were had.
On the way to Brighton Beach, the little bug says says to us, from the backseat. 

"I found the remote control! ... No, wait. That's a booger." 

And then, as though to prove we need to document everything that comes out of her mouth: I do this thing where I tell her about everyone she knows who poops. This includes the entire roster from baby school ("Ahnika poops, Cooper poops, Miriam poops, Elsa poops, other Elsa poops") and relatives "Grandma poops, Grandpa poops," and neighbors "Lloyd poops, Russell poops." I'd added " ... in a toilet" to the end of this little mantra and when I said to her: 

"Dada poops in the toilet" she said "Oh! No. No. He goes in the litter box." 

(Speaking of: Last night when I went to bed, I locked our cat between the front door and the screen door. I have so much to say! It's been a month! I beat the Mayor of Duluth in a write fight one night! I also ran a 5K over the noon hour. Today I got a quick IM from one of my favorite friends and now all I want to do is write great sentences. 


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