Stuff to know

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Buy A Mix

Today I am a bit inspired, thanks to a post from Simple Mom , that talked about creativity and not fearing failure, to share a story from when I was a new mom back in the day that taught me about both..

And coincidentally it is Thursday , so we will go with at Throwback!

When I was a new mom I had the "Syndrome".
 Not  postpartum-- much worse

I had the "I -am -going-to-be -the-best-mother-ever,
and always-be-in-love-with everything-I-do-for -my child! Syndrome

Veteran Mothers:  please feel free to gag when necessary.
Newbie: The best teacher is not experience , it is other peoples experiences. Take heed

This story is about 17 years old but it is fresh in my memory
and serves as a great reminder to
"never go there again"
when my judgement spins off.

I was so locked into the Syndrome that I couldn't even
see the headlights of the train wreck up ahead
 that was my inevitable meltdown.

My daughter Happy Mouth was in the 18-24 month old Mother's Day Out on T/TH.

It was the Spring Party and my first outside of the house event in weeks.
 (Adults I need adults)
The sign up sheet was decorated beautifully with hearts and roses and a cheery greeting of
"What can I bring?"  followed by suggestive items and a place to fill in your name.

The normal items were listed such as cheese blocks, cut up grapes, paper plates etc etc
and then at the bottom in all its shining glory I saw:

Volunteer ( I should have turned tail right here)
Bring Your Best!!!
(any dish you wish!!!)

and you will never believe this ....
it was BLANK!!

How lucky could I be?
 I grabbed that purple gel pen hanging on the string and signed
my name proudly to the coveted empty space.

It was like I won the preschool volunteer lottery!!
 I wish at this point someone had just slapped me.

I need to mention that I never considered why the space was blank
or why I didn't actually have to elbow someone like
it was Black Friday at Tiffanys.
But  remember one of the symptoms of the Syndrome is Obliviousness.

So I kissed Happy Mouth goodbye and went off in exploration
of the finest confectionery concoction this side of the Mason Dixon.

Now hindsight is 20/20 because the foresight was a whopping 0/0.
At this point in life I have basically made eggs, a crockpot roast and....a cosmo.
Not necessarily in that order.

So whatever propelled me forward and took hold of my faculties in order to
 convince me that I could bake and decorate the
 Southern Living Award Winner of 19something or other
Baby Block Cake is still unknown to this day.

 But it took hold of me and it took me fiercely.

This is not the exact image ( I guess Google doesn't have images from before the everything you see can be uploaded era,) bu it's close .

Close to what it is supposed to look like, that is.

I bought the ingredients .
The ingredients that were way out of our budget.

Man- working- retail- while -putting- out resumes-
+ SAHM -saving- for- a- washing machine
  does not =
Let's buy Marzipan and real cocoa.

Oh well I like rice,
its what's for dinner (all week).

The next Thursday was the Spring Party.
 I was going to drop Happy Mouth off at MDO and dash ,
because that's what perky organized moms do -they dash,
 home to whip up this gorgeous cake.*

Now I have included an * here on purpose ,and I have a few *  moments to tell
(but that's another story).

The * here is to note that at this point I am no longer in focus
of a mama's true purpose.
Every woman at one time or another in her life subscribed to the BS
that being super mom or a better mom than so and so translates to successful mom.
It is  like getting flowers at home vs the office .
 Why would you bother to get them unless other women see them
and you get your bragging  rights of "My husband loves me so much"  moment?

You may think this shallow and you would be correct.
But every woman , aware or not, has been here at one time.
 If your one of those non-existent  rare women, we will never be friends then congratulations.

But this is a huge deceptive thinking and will rob you of immense joy and relaxation
as I am about to demonstrate.

Ahh humm where was I?

Oh yes.
  Impossible Recipe .
 Expensive Ingredients. 
Time Shortage

Now MDO is 9-2 ,but the party is at 12.
So I have less than 3 hours to bake, make and deliver this cake in all its glory.

WARNING: The following story may be unsuitable for well.....
                                just about anyone with a bladder.

I make the cake from scratch (Danger Will Robinson Danger!!)
There is so much measuring involved.
Teaspoon , Tablespoon   yeah  yeah yeah
 you say tomato-  I say tomato

I add the flavoring to the cake.
Oh I bet just a little more will be even better!!
Did I mention I have never actually baked - just licked the spoons?

Okay into the oven it goes.
Our dial is a little messed up.
 It keeps slipping off but we usually just pull out needle nose pliers.
Improvising is the key to life!!!
Okay cake in.

Frosting time!!
Powdered sugar,
Food coloring-
What could go wrong?

Mixing with one beater (thank you garbage disposal)
A few extra drops of red for fun

 I have hands that could star in a Friday the 13th movie.
Dang- oh well a quick bleach wash.

Marzipan time!
Molding,  shaping,  flattening and hand cutting out letters by hand.
Sounded reasonable at the time

All the suddenly hands are like
itchy and  ummm
on fire?

Could I be allergic to marzipan?
or could it be the bleach soaking i just took?

Okay hydro cortisone cream.
The timer rings.

I open the oven door to ..........
a cold dark space with a pan of raw cake batter.

My hands are still itching and my left eye has a twitch in it.
I grab my pliers and switch that bitch to 450!!
"100 more degrees for lost minutes" I shout triumphantly!!
I am sure Martha has done that 1,000 times.

I have forgotten to breath until the phone rings and startles me.
I spin around knocking over food coloring bowl #3: New Grass Green

"Damn!!! "  I snatch the phone: "Hell" (no I did not forget the o)
"Oh hey baby it's me (husband) you okay?"

Now I realize that he has no idea what I am doing but that
"Are you okay" question just sort of rubbed me the wrong way.

 It could have been the friction in my hands from constant rubbing pain
 but I went with- it was him.

"AM_-I- OKAY?"

"Yeah I was just seeing what you were doing?"


"Oh that's right isn't the Spring thingy today?'


"Hey its 11:00 when do you have to be there?

"ELeven ?? already  - I am slowly melting like the wicked witch of the west.

I cradle the phone in my hands , rocking back and forth, back and forth
back and forth.........

"Babe, are you there?"

"Yes" I stammer through quivering lips "I am still here - why  oh why am I ?"

"Honey - what time is Happy Mouth expecting you?"

This jolts me into reality.
Happy Mouth is expecting  me
 cake or no cake.

I straighten remembering
that  I  cannot be conquered by mere  cake.

I come back to earth and answer
"Yeah you're right. Sweetie I need to let you go and get ready. Thanks"

The phone clicks.

I race to the bathroom brushing out as  much  flour from my hair as possible,
switch into a fresh shirt and brush my teeth.
I put Tupperware lids on the frosting,
 kick the jolly green one in the pantry
and pull out a slighlty burnted cooked warm cake.

Load it all in a laundry basket along with 2 spoons and a knife

and I dash  race like I'm at Daytona to MDO.

I arrive at 12:01  .
I take out the cake,  cut it in small chunks blocks ,
drizzle slap 3 different colors of frosting on it and bolt up the stairs.

I am not the first mom there but I'm
THE MOM Happy Mouth takes into her arms and flat out steals my whole heart.

We sing, We pray We eat.

I uncover my concoction, which basically looks like unicorn poop.
Happy Mouth and her preschool minions do they ""oooh"" "ahhh"

I'm smiling inside and out and I watch with delight as the kids dig into it
dyeing their lips and teeth dark shades of red, blue and orange.
 Much to th chagrin of a few I cant be friends with you  perfect mother types.

This also makes me put my head back and laugh.

The kids look beautiful and happy eating the unicorn poop cake!!!

I finally sit in a chair and my body unwinds as I laugh .

Two moms who are not threatened by my culinary skills sit near me.
  I share my crazy story with them.

They laugh with me and I
I ask them  "What did y'all bring?

One says " Napkins."
The other says " A bag of Chips"

We all stare at each other for a bit and then burst into fits of laughter.

The soft spoken kind one , who would later become my best friend, offers me this advice.

"I have 3 words for you if you ever feel the need to try to impress again " she says with authority


and so I have.......

Extra thanks to a post at Simple Mom entitled Life After Art. So worth the read

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