Monday, September 1, 2014

Coco's Cake II

Coco has become quite the baker these days.  On Saturday this weekend, she helped Papa make the birthday cake for Margot and Flynn's birthday party and some banana bread as well.  Then, the next day, she and Papa made sugar cookies with frosting and sprinkles. 

But there is a bit of a story behind the cookies baked on Sunday . . .. 

On Saturday night, as I was putting Cornelia to bed after the twins' birthday party, she asked about the birthday cake.  She wanted a piece of cake.  The cake she helped Papa make that day.  Putting aside that it was bedtime and a piece of cake was out of the question, the cake was gone.  Not because it had been eaten at the birthday party, but because Cornelia's dads had given the remains of the cake away.

It seemed an entirely reasonable thing to do at the time.  At the end of the party half the cake was left; the cake was huge so half of a huge cake is a lot of cake.  (See the picture below.)  As the party was ending and the neighbors were leaving -- neighbors with multiple children of cake-eating age at home -- it seemed like a good idea to give the cake away rather than leave it in the house where Ken and I would have no willpower to resist consuming it in less than 48 hours.  In the Wingard family, leftover desserts are slowly and surely consumed through a process called "straightening the edges."  "Oh, I'll just straighten this edge of pie."  or "Oh, look at the crooked edge of that cake.  I better straighten that out."  It's brilliant in its subtle innocence.  Obviously, the cake had to be removed from the premises.

Alas, in our panic to get that half-of-a-huge-cake out of the house, we forgot that our own child who is of a cake-eating age and who had helped make that cake would sure want another piece of the cake.  So, there I sat next to Cornelia's bed, looking at her and thinking of what to say . . . .

"Um, well, the cake is gone," I heard myself say. 

Then it came.  What I knew would come as soon as I knew I had to speak those words.  First, the welling up of tears, then the outright crying and then finally the uncontrollable sobbing and wailing over the loss of the cake.  My thoughts raced.  "What have I done?  How could I be so thoughtless?  I gave away her cake!  Cake I would have happily eaten with her.  I am a horrible father.  But it was Ken's fault after all!  I didn't want to give away the cake.  Papa made Daddy do it!"

Fortunately, before I could throw Ken under the bus for giving away the cake, he came into the room, assessed the situation and managed to change the course of the conversation.  He started talking to Cornelia about the cake, and how she had helped make it and how much fun they had making it.  Then -- before more talk of the lost cake resulted in more tears -- he seamlessly moved the conversation to the idea that they could make cookies together tomorrow.  Miraculously, the tears were replaced by excitement at the prospect of making cookies.  Cookies that would absolutely, definitely and most certainly not be given away.

The Cake

Margot’s Firsts

Flynn is getting a lot of “baby glory” right now since he was the first to crawl and the first to take his first steps, etc.  And he’s certainly very, . . . um, . . . adventurous. 

Margot, on the other hand, is more quiet, more calm, more subdued.  She often plays on her own – “far from the madding crowd” (i.e., her more boisterous brother and older sister -- and you will find her by herself closely studying a toy or whatever else she might have picked up, turning it over in her little hands. “I wonder what this does . . . .," she seems to be thinking.  She’s definitely a thinker. 

Her development has blossomed in subtle ways.  For example, she now perceives the connections between objects and their functions.  She picks up a hairbrush and touches it to her head.  She picks up a shirt and puts it on top of her head.  She picks up a bottle and gestures it toward your mouth, or she picks up a baby-wipe and waves it toward your face.  She also waves back when you wave at her - sometimes.    

This weekend I gathered up in a single basket all the toys that will help her start to learn her colors and shapes and how different pieces fit together, toys which until now have been scattered about the house in pieces or up in Cornelia’s closet. 

Margot and Papa, August 30, 2014