There it sat, grand and beautiful and beckoning. A monument to another year come and gone. Pink and yellow flowers, their sugary petals seductively calling.
And there he sat, my three-year-old grandson. On top of the table, next to my birthday cake. He was mesmerized by its loveliness, by the sweetness of its thick buttercream frosting, by the flat white plane where no flowers lay, as if covered by a layer of new-fallen snow.
He loves cake.
There he sat for fifteen minutes, contemplating how his finger could reach those flowers for its obligatory swipe of a sugary glob for his waiting mouth. But the plastic cover was too tight; thick and unyielding. He tried. By God, he gave it his best effort. He even toyed with the plastic server that sat waiting to be put to use. He would’ve been more than happy to use it.
The poor boy finally gave up – he was no match for industrial-strength plastic that hadn’t been loosened yet. At least, not if his deed was to be secretive, as he knew it must be. I’m sure he could’ve figured something out if plastic mutilation were an option. But he smartly decided against that move, and just waited. Like everyone else.
I didn’t realize when I brought it home one day early that I’d equipped my home with a torture device for a three-year-old cake-frosting junkie. HE. LOVES. FROSTING.
But no worries. Two days later, his little sister’s cake came home in a flimsy cardboard box. (Note: Gourmet cake bakers should know that their creations really need better protection).
Yep, no problem.
When it was removed from the box for the party, there was a finger-hole down the center of it, where part of the word BIRTHDAY should have been. “Who put their finger in this cake?” my daughter asked, not happy that her little girl’s expensive confection had been mangled.
A wide, proud grin spread across his face, as he happily yelled “ME!”
The celebration of sweet victory.