Scene 29: The Homemade Birthday Cake

Posted by on Dec 3, 2012 in 31 Moments of Motherhood, perspective | 0 comments

Find all of my 31 Moments of Motherhood posts here.


[Lights come up on a woman holding a Family Fun magazine. A small table sits next to her, an object covered by a large cloth napkin on top of it.]


“Every month, I get a pile of parenting magazines in the mail. They are bright and beautiful and they make everything look so easy.”

[Flipping through the pages.]


“Here is a step by step tutorial on how to make cute forest critters out of twigs, buttons, and tempera paint. Looks easy enough…if you have an art degree and industrial strength glue.”

“And here’s a simple recipe for an after-school snack that looks like a fairy garden on a plate.”

“But the issue that always traps me is the birthday party issue. They make the cakes look so beautiful and so easy and then I show them to my kids, and they love them too, and then all of a sudden, I’m up until midnight the night before their birthday trying to recreate what probably took days for some food stylist to make.”

[Lifting cloth off table to reveal a cake that somewhat resembles a castle.]


“Take this masterpiece. I bought the design hook, line, and sinker, and set out to formulate the perfect castle creation. I bought  piles of candy, baked my layer cakes, smoothed on a thick layer of frosting, and loaded on the decorations. But then, I stepped back…and realized that my castle looked like it was sliding into a sinkhole.”

[Eyes cake warily.]


“I went to bed with a stiff back and a bruised ego, and as I lay in bed, I began to question my sanity. If I was honest with myself, my daughter wasn’t going to love my cake any more because I stayed up until midnight to make it. She would have been just as happy with a Barbie cake from the grocery store. In fact, I was probably worse off because if it, judging by my aches and pains.”

“Sometimes I think that doing things “the hard way” make it better when mostly it just makes it more stressful. And? No one cares…except me.”

[Gently covers the cake back up with the cloth.]

“So, I’m trying to retire. No more ridiculous cakes. I promise.”

“Just keep the birthday party issue away from me.”

[Lights down.]

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