Musing With Mary
Maggie bounced into the house early one morning, eager to show off her new birthday dress. She looked darling in a little black and pink sundress. But I was surprised and disappointed at the same time. It was the very same dress I had just finished wrapping as part of our gift for her. She ripped the paper from her gift, pulled out the dress and barely looked at it, tossing it aside to dig further and pull out the wand and bottle of bubble liquid we had wrapped with the dress. "Let's go do bubbles, Grandma," she called as she took her prize and headed for the front door. Her baby brother and I spent the next half hour watching Maggie blow and chase bubbles as she squealed and danced with delight. The initial disappointment I felt when realizing our gift was a duplicate was gone. We hit a home run with the bubbles.
Her grandpa had his usual Sunday morning treats, banana bread and cinnamon rolls, on the table when we came back inside. The birthday girl sat down with a glass of milk and a slice of banana bread. I planned to use the time she was eating to stir up a cake. She saw what I was doing and abandoned her food and drink to offer her help. A big dish towel tied around her neck protected her new dress from the drips and splatters that were bound to be a part of this activity.
Luckily this granddaughter was not begging to break the eggs we needed, satisfied with simply dumping each one onto the dry ingredients, counting as she did it, that's 1, 2, 3. I divided the necessary yogurt into 3 portions so she could count while adding it and I did the same with the liquid. It was her third birthday so having to put 3 of everything into the bowl was important.
She sat on the counter and watched the mixer beat the ingredients. Things got a bit messy after that as Maggie helped spoon batter into the pan to make 2 dozen tiny cupcakes. Once that was done she licked the beaters while I filled cake pans with the rest of the batter. The towel which served as an apron came off, we washed her hands, face and arms and she went back to the table to finish eating.
The cupcakes came out of the oven about the same time her parents and siblings returned from church. As soon as it was cooled we stuck 3 candles and a paper-balloon topped toothpick into one of the cupcakes. Our 3-year-old was not concerned about the absence of frosting or fancy decorations. She blew out the candles as we sang the birthday song and ate the entire cake - all 2 bites of it. She acted like the lady-of-the-house as she passed around the rest of the tiny cakes.
Her parents were packing up to go home when Maggie dashed over to the cupboard and dropped the remaining cupcakes into her ever-present purse. I am not sure that was a good idea but Maggie is Maggie and everything she likes eventually gets tucked into her purse.
I had not intended for the cake I was making to be Maggie's birthday cake but she accepted it as such. She is my kind of girl. I was never any good when it came to making fancy or special birthday cakes for my family. Maggie's unfrosted mini-cupcakes were a perfect balance to what served as the cake for the youngest of our five sons on his 6th birthday. A round cake plate served quite well as a wheel to the 6 Twinkies I arranged in a spoke pattern on it. Little boys love wheels, don't they? I stuck a candle into each spoke, lit the candles and led the singing. I don't think the memory of this cake left any permanent emotional scars on my son. On second thought, maybe I should check with him before making that claim. firstname.lastname@example.org