how to start a tradition

The day before your middle son’s birthday, browse the cake recipes you have pinned, skip all the ones with chocolate in them, and you’ll be left with one white cake recipe (that you’ve made before and was quite good.) Make sure that you have all the necessary ingredients (you don’t, and your car is blocked in by mounds of gravel and a mini-bulldozer thing; you won’t be able to get out without driving across the neighbor’s yard.) End up searching again for another recipe. Find a yellow one that is fairly straightforward and decide to go with that.

On the morning of your son’s birthday, set out the butter for the frosting and cake itself. Realize you actually don’t have enough for both. Briefly consider halving the recipe and decide that you don’t want to do math. Ask your husband if he can run out for butter and eggs later when he has a minute. He will say maybe.

Meanwhile the Birthday Boy will manage to get his first wasp sting on his thumb. It will start to swell a little. Put ice on it and call pediatrician. Leave message (with Birthday Boy screaming in the background). Text your good friend who knows way more about all health things than you do. She will give sound advice, including giving Benadryl. You don’t have any. Birthday Boy will now stop crying and just play. Your husband will drive the van across the neighbor’s yard while they’re not a home so you can go get Benadryl. Bonus: now you can get butter and eggs for the cake, too.

Walk through the store with your butter and eggs and Benadryl and pass the birthday cakes. Briefly stop and wonder if you should just get one here. Feel intensely guilty that Biggest Brother had homemade cakes on his birthdays, but Birthday Boy has only had storebought thus far. Buy butter, eggs, and Benadryl and leave.

Feed everyone and put them down for naps. Make cake batter. Dye it green for no reason except your son’s name reminds you of that color (probably because it rhymes with “chive”. Forget one step, but don’t realize it until the end, when it’s too late. Hope that the cake comes out anyway. One layer does, but the other doesn’t.

Think for a second.

Remember that moment in the store with all the pretty cakes, already made and ready to eat.

Try to stop thinking about it.

Use the destroyed layer and the killer buttercream frosting you’ve already made to make little balls a-la-cake pops, except you have no cake-pop-stick-things, so just roll balls and stick them on a plate. Make a sugar glaze and drizzle on top. Then dye some sugar pink and sprinkle it on top because Biggest Brother is obsessed with Winnie The Pooh’s “little cake things with pink sugar icing” and asks for them all the time.

Decide while you’re making them that you’re going to call them “Birthday Flop Balls” and make them every year just because.

Test one assembled and pink-sugared Birthday Flop Ball (BFB) and decide it’s good enough, but you wouldn’t serve it to company.

After dinner, give BFBs to children. Biggest Brother will devour his and ask for more. Birthday Boy will take one nibble and spit his out. Decide that he will be OK with storebought cakes from now on.

how to start a tradition

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