Tuesday, December 27, 2011

How Does It Feel To Be Fifteen?

No sooner do we get Christmas over with in this house than we must start thinking about a certain eldest child's birthday. We move from Christmas wrap and Christmas tags to birthday wrap and birthday tags in one fell swoop. I know it's very unMartha-ish of me to say it, let alone DO it, but often the birthday wrapping paper around here IS Christmas wrap.

Fortunately this year I can thank Rampant Commercial Consumerism (in the guise of a car advert that ran simultaneously on television and newsprint) for providing me with some fairly glitzy vehicle wrapping paper. They slipped a whole sheet of the stuff inside the newspaper right before Christmas. It's actually quite nice wrap, too.

This year marks a new direction in the Birthday Cake Department. Since I am Chief Designer I get a lot of weird orders. Some suggestion I nix right off the bat (LEGO men that stand, anything over 18", too much black icing) and some I have to guide in slightly less sugary directions, but for the most part the kids can choose any kind of cake they want. I've made cakes that look like ferries, cakes that look like LEGO bricks, cakes with trains on them, and even cakes that look like Totoro, Oms (Miyazaki's Nausicaa) or hamburgers.

This year my instructions were to make a tall cake. A very tall cake. A cake at least two feet high. Which, if you are a careful reader, you will have noted is a direct contravening of the rules (no cake over 18"). That rule is there for a reason. Actually, three reasons:

1) the inside pieces totally lose out when it comes to icing.
2) the Chief Designer doesn't like to do dowels or supports on cakes. A cake over 12" high will require dowels or supports.
3) I don't have a knife that will cut a 24" cake. And I'm not sure I want to have one.

This year, instead of a 24" cake, I convinced the birthday boy to go for a DIY sundae, because it would combine brownies, ice cream, marshmallows, whipped cream, chocolate, butterscotch, and strawberry sauces, and lots of candy in one go. I even took him to the bulk store and let him pick the candy. Well, perhaps pick is not the operative word...let's just say that I guided his hand fairly firmly past the Lindt Christmas truffles and towards the M&Ms and gummies. I'm what I like to call Cheaply Benevolent.

Happily, it all worked out. Right now the birthday boy and his pals are - there's no other word for it - gorging themselves on their creations. There's lots of laughter, choking, dribbles, spills, crunching, and jostling - a perfect mix if you're a teen-age boy.

How does it feel to be fifteen? I don't remember, but I liked the answer one of his friends had:

"I don't know! How does it feel to be 40?" (much laughter ensues)

Such a wit.


Heather said...

Well...at least he said 40 instead of making the typical teen error of thinking anyone over 20 must surely be at least 60. I imagine there may have been some ice cream and gummies dribbling down some teen's head if he'd guessed that wrong though.

So...one more year until you're doing the driving lessons too, heh? Enjoy it!

sheila said...

Exactly, lol. I always remember Max looking at a dumpy older blonde and saying "She looks just like YOU, Mum!" I nearly died of horror, until he said "Her hair is the same colour as yours!" Thankful for small mercies, that's me.

Becky at Farm School said...

Belated birthday wishes to Max : ) .

Love the sundae idea, we have done that too. And (shh...) oh how much easier than a 24" cake!

Sadly, am getting to the point where I don't remember what 40 feels like either, sigh...