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Overcoming birthday Aang-st

Submitted by on Friday, 17 July 2009 No Comment

avatar_birthdayI get nervous about birthday cakes – stomach-cramping, sweaty-palmed jittery, and the more important the birthday person, the higher the anxiety level.

Then it gets even worse when a bout of “I’m going to screw this up” dithers hits, encouraging me to procrastinate for hours.

And that’s why I was sitting on the patio at 10 Sunday night having a breakdown instead of working on the cake for Big Guy’s “fake birthday” – the party we were having a week in advance of the real date so Dad could be here for it.

The normal pastry pressure had amped up already, due in part of Big Guy’s bad park mojo – he’d sworn he’d never go to one again after he broke his wrist in an accident that sent his summer straight down the toilet. No more pool. No more karate. And no more fun.

His party already had been planned for a park, and it was too late to change. Ixnay, though, on the games I’d planned for his “Avatar”-themed party. It’s hard to play Water Bender Balloon Battle when the guest of honor isn’t allowed to get his arm wet.

So that meant a few pounds of pastry would determine whether he remembered this birthday for the right or wrong reasons. Would this be the Year His Birthday Reeked Because A Broken Wrist and Mom Ruined the Party? Or could I pull off a miracle?

Everything was riding on the cake. If I were a turtle, my head would have been stuck in my shell. Instead, I poured some more coffee and lingered on the patio.

Finally about 11, I decided to bake. I had to start somewhere, and that was the part I was least likely to screw up. Even that wasn’t a lock, though. Egg-free baking has a way of biting you in the butt if you have to double the recipe, which I did and it did. Not fatally, though.

As the cake cooled and sank ever so slightly, I searched for an image. It had to be simple, but it still had to be Aaang, the Avatar. At least, it had to start out that way. It could well look like Winnie the Pooh before I finished.

By the time I’d found a picture and dragged out my gear, it was midnight. I would have thrown up but three of us had just spent days doing just that. I was tired of laundry, so I poured more coffee.

avatar_birthday_cakeIt was nearly 1 by the time I started applying icing to shapes and almost three by the time I finished. I stashed the cake in the oven – that’s where I “hide” all the cakes, but the guys know that, so “discovering” them on birthday morning is a big game for us – and called it a night.

Too few hours later, Big Guy bounced on top of me.

“Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! You made me Aang, Mommy! I love it!”

Whew. Water Bender Balloon Battle was out, but at least the cake had the Big Guy seal of approval.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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