Cute Lil’ Cupcake

By Beck

The Baby is attending a Valentine’s Day party today, which means – oh, OF COURSE – yet another batch of elaborate cupcakes for me to stay up late making. Someday I will be better at managing my time and will figure out how to make cupcakes during DAYLIGHT HOURS, but by then I’ll probably be old and grey and full of sleep ALL the time and not just at ten o’ clock at night while I’m trying to make buttercream frosting.

It’s been a partyful week for us – The Boy’s class had a 100th Day of School/Valentine’s Day party yesterday, with a cordial invitation extended to parents and younger siblings, so The Baby and I headed over to that as well. As soon as he saw her walk in, his eyes lit up and he brought her over to his table to work with him and his friends, this tiny little girl sitting at a table of sturdy Northern boys, dirt in the creases of their hands.

“I like your sister,” said a friend. “I like her because she can write her name.” And she can, the letters of her name fierce and big and straight ahead on the page. Last night, before bed, she wrote her name over and over again on the Valentine’s her father made her for today. She knows what she is, what she is called – and in real life, off the computer screen, she would never, ever stand to be called “Baby”. She is fierce and fragile and whip-smart and scheming (She told me this morning that her big sister looked sickish and should stay home from school. Oh, and since she should stay home from school, perhaps The Baby would just help herself to one of the highly coveted juice boxes – after all, her sister wouldn’t be needing it. Phsaw, kid! Your sister is going to school! Put down that juice box!).

Whenever you write about your own kids, I think that there’s always the risk of making them into too-perfect storybook kids, all funny quips and adorable antics – unless you’re one of those troubled My-Child-Is-The-Source-Of-All-My-Problems parents. The Baby is quite the handful – she does like to scream – and she’s also a delight and she’s also a person and who knows how she’s seeing her own childhood? Maybe someday she will write about being small and too-doted on and having to fight so hard to get everyone to see her crackling smarts, her fiery independence, her name black strong slashes on the page. You would know her if you saw her.

Beck blogs at Frog And Toad Are Still Friends.

22 Responses to Cute Lil’ Cupcake
  1. Nowheymama
    February 12, 2009 | 10:36 am

    K’s class is having separate 100 Days/Valentine parties this week. Why have one party when you can have two?

  2. His Girl Amber
    February 12, 2009 | 10:49 am

    How funny that many of the things you talked about are now no longer allowed in our school district- no home-baked goodies, no siblings in classrooms- and it’s only a matter of times before we hear “no Valentines.

    That aside, of course, this post was beautiful, and I could be completely wrong, but I feel like if I were sent to a playground in your neck of the woods and saw the Baby there, I would likely go… “hey! that girl looks familiar to me!” even though I’ve never seen her face.

  3. Aliki
    February 12, 2009 | 10:52 am

    I worry about these same things with T. We call her “baby” and it doesn’t help that she only 30 pounds, five years old, and just *tiny*.

    Thank goodness for homemade cupcakes!

  4. Tracy
    February 12, 2009 | 11:00 am

    Oh, this is exactly how I see my youngest,Abigail. She is so smart, and wants to be seen, and comes across as loud and some what of a know it all. Poor kid!

  5. Cassie
    February 12, 2009 | 11:43 am

    I wish I could make cupcakes for Aiden! They make us buy everything pre packaged. btw you post just reminded me he needs thirty valentines for tomorrow!

  6. Kat
    February 12, 2009 | 11:45 am

    I just love how you describe your kids. I feel like I can really “know” who they are, and not just who a parent would want us to see. 🙂

  7. Kelly
    February 12, 2009 | 12:23 pm

    I worry about that, too. Does my blog (and/or my journal) create one-dimensional children, when they are so multi-facted?

    But in the end, it’s the best I can do. Even photographs can’t capture what the human eye can see. I can only make an attempt and recognize that real life is far better than any art.

    Makes me thankful cupcakes are so much simpler. (I’m be beating the buttercream tonight for parties tomorrow.)

  8. Omaaha Mama
    February 12, 2009 | 1:23 pm

    It’s interesting to think of my kids as their own little people, instead of just little extensions of me. I need to honor that more. I like the idea you present here of wondering how they see their own life and I wonder what memories will stick when they are grown.

  9. Tonggu Momma
    February 12, 2009 | 1:43 pm

    I wonder where the line is all too often. And how often do I cross it? The Tongginator is the Tongginator. She is A Star personality, which easily falls into adorable or annoying, depending on the day. When I write about her, can people hear the laughter and exasperation, all rolled up in one big ball of love? Or do they view me as a braggart or a whiner? I just don’t know.

  10. Candace
    February 12, 2009 | 2:22 pm

    I stayed up last night baking cookies for a preschool party for my son today. They even had a obstacle course I helped out with as well. Yeah!

  11. Painted Maypole
    February 12, 2009 | 2:50 pm

    i do call my MQ baby all the time, but affectionately, not diminuitively

  12. janet
    February 12, 2009 | 6:17 pm

    We have been having one of those foot-stomping-potty-talking-freaking-freaky days today. So much so that I can’t wait to tuck my cute little cupcake under the covers.

  13. Minnesotamom
    February 12, 2009 | 8:07 pm

    I think I see her every day in my own daughter. At 17 months (almost 18!), she is a force herself. One moment tender and hugging, one focused and coloring, one screaming and banging her stubborn head against something.

    I’m coming into my own as I learn to receive hugs, encourage focused activity and discipline the tantrums.

    I’ve not given a lot of thought as to how she views her childhood yet, most likely since I have no memories before I was 3 or 4.

  14. Alison
    February 12, 2009 | 9:20 pm

    I love the idea of our children being second-generation bloggers–telling their stories instead of the way we see them. Of course, if my kids end up hating their childhood, I might not think it’s such a good idea.

  15. Woman in a window
    February 12, 2009 | 11:01 pm

    Hell ya, she is a firecracker!

    I like that your boy’s friend liked her ’cause she could write her name. How that will change in a few years hurts.

  16. Nadia
    February 13, 2009 | 12:01 am

    I love her personality, her fire. The baby and C make quite the pair :)!

  17. Fantastic Forrest
    February 13, 2009 | 2:14 am

    Lovely story. I remember when Amazing Girl Child was really little and her older brother would pretend to be annoyed to have her around at his school or Boy Scouts. But he and the other boys really loved her lively little personality. They were thrilled to have the attention of “Wedgie Woman” as she ran around trying to give them wedgies.

  18. Patois
    February 13, 2009 | 1:08 pm

    God, I love how you write, woman!

  19. magpie
    February 13, 2009 | 2:31 pm

    She sounds just awesome.

  20. mimi
    February 14, 2009 | 10:41 pm

    Oh, how our girls would get along …

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