Friday, May 6, 2011

A Frosting Debacle

So, here's how it started.

It was the night before Cupcake Day for my little birthday boy. His birthday is on Saturday, and we needed a total of 18 cupcakes (for the collective students and teachers in his Preschool class) for him to take in on the day before. We were out of time for the fresh baked variety, so I asked my mom to pick up a couple dozen at the area megastore.

She called. "Trish? Do you have muffin tins?"

"I do."

"Let's make cupcakes instead."


"I really think it's best. The ones on display are $15 for a dozen, and they're hideously ugly. You'll want to drop them off without your name on them. I'm not kidding. We can't do this."

"Okay. Baking night it is."

I was slightly overwhelmed by the task at hand, but the overwhelming, contagious joy of little bakers quickly took over. They arrived home with big plans, big dreams, with a strong emphasis on blue frosting and sprinkles.

Deal. I'm in, kiddos.

"Everybody go potty and wash hands, and we'll get started."

"Mommy? Um, Mommy? Could you come here?"

I found Tyler standing in his bedroom, fully clothed, with poop dripping out of the inside of his pant leg. Into his socks and shoes. An accident, if you will.

I picked him up and carried him, stiff as a statue, to the bathroom, where we began cleanup. Intensive.

I put his underwear in the toilet, to rinse it out, just as he flushed the toilet.

And down went Diego, in one fell swoop.

Tyler burst into tears, over his beloved underwear, very clearly gone. I mean, gone. I was near tears, because, quite frankly, I haven't the first idea about plumbing and I had no idea what repercussions could come of this.

Meanwhile, Tucker called from the other bathroom, "Hey, Mommy? I have a problem in here!"

Turns out, in the midst of the blockage at our end of the hallway, his toilet became clogged. Seriously? I need this?

I became a plunging wild woman. I ran from bathroom to bathroom, plunging with all my might.

The boys trailed back and forth after me. "Mommy? Did the water go down? Did the water go down? Can we make cupcakes yet? How about now? Where do you think Diego is? Can we make cupcakes? How about now?"

Oh, for crying out loud.

Things went down. All of it. I'll spare you the details, except to say that I wasn't exactly ecologically friendly. I just kept flushing. Keep the water moving folks. No time for things to stop and settle in.

And now, the moment we've all been waiting for: let's make some cupcakes.

We made the cupcakes from a mix, because I know my high altitude limits. We opted for homemade frosting, because it's so easy and so delicious... unless one realizes too late that she is nearly out of powdered sugar. Oh, right. That.

And officially out of blue food coloring. Oh, right. That.

A quick and frantic perusal of the pantry delivered one canister of Pillsbury cream cheese frosting (which I may or may not have been saving for a night of desperation, when I may or may not have devoured it in one setting with a spoon). A strong soapbox of persuasion brought Tyler to change his mind of the choice of color, and we went with green.

Whew. Carry on.

I'm not going to go so far as to say that baked goods are a point of pride for me, but I will say that I like a presentation. If I choose not to buy, then I want it to be clear why I chose to make them instead. I need pretty. I just do.

And in the most inopportune moment, my Pampered Chef Easy Accent Decorator let me down. A small, hairline fracture in the little doo-dah ring turned out to cause mass destruction.

No joke.

I was squeezing pretty ribbons of frosting onto the cupcakes, all while it poured out from another crevasse faster than I could keep up.

Frosting. Everywhere.

Tyler was a little troubled.

I have texture issues, remember.

All the while, little boys were sneaking finger licks.

"Hey. Stop licking. Go wash your hands. That spoon is dirty now, Tuck. Get a new one. Hey. No fingers in the frosting. Hey. Hey. Wash your hands. Tyler, the spoon is in your hair. Get a new one."

Oh, for crying out loud.

Mom, the voice of wisdom said, "Perhaps we could just frost these with a knife? The old fashioned way?"

Oh, hells no. I will not be defeated. Pretty ribbons of frosting, you will submit to my authority in your life.

"Do we freaking have 18 yet? We need 18. For the love of all things frosted, do we have 18??"

We had 16. I whipped out two more blessed little greens lovelies with sprinkles.

Done. Complete with sprinkles.

And we'll hide the ugly ones. Of which there were plenty. (After all, a family needs some to delight in at home, after birthday hours are complete.)

Just as we finished, Tyler said, "Hey, Mommy? My water won't go down to the ocean."

Um, what?

Turns out, he had run to the bathroom in between sprinkles, and the toilet wouldn't flush.

Again with the mad woman plunging.

In the end, he took a lovely collection of frosted, sprinkled cupcakes to school this morning. We did it.

And the only thing clogged this morning was the bath tub, which I think operates on an entirely different set of pipes. I'm on the fence about this: optimistic that Diego didn't cause a problem, or pessimistic that the bath tub presents entirely another.

Anyway... cupcake anyone?

It's almost Tyler's birthday, you know.


Jessica said...

oh my, i am laughing so loud right now! gorgeous cupcakes! i think you should have typed out a little card to deliver with each one so that they, the grateful 3 & 4 year olds, would know the amount of LOVE that went into each perfect little cupcake. the part that really made me laugh was your "hells no," with the s. awesome.

Jessica said...

oh my, i am laughing so loud right now! gorgeous cupcakes! i think you should have typed out a little card to deliver with each one so that they, the grateful 3 & 4 year olds, would know the amount of LOVE that went into each perfect little cupcake. the part that really made me laugh was your "hells no," with the s. awesome.

Katy said...

Oh my goodness, that's hilarious. Although... probably not in the midst of it. But still... it WILL be hilarious to you someday... and the rest of us can enjoy it now. ;-)

Noel said...

As a widow, this post made me cry more than any of your others has. I feel the pain of having to plunge the toilet myself, the struggle of feeling like nothing's going right and that this stuff really isn't your job, anyway. I feel for you on this one, sweetie, way to have a sense of humor through it all. Hope the rest of your weekend goes ok for you. Love.

Terry said...

dear tricia...i like the cupcake cups with all of those circles of colour....just the thing for a little guy's birthday.
happy birhday tyler and happy mothers day to your special mom!
love from southern ontario canada...terry

Sally said...

Oh my, I am in hysterical fits of laughter. Forgive me, but if you weren't such a good storyteller...

3 cheers to you for seeing the deed through to the end. I'm sure I would've given up sooner. The cupcakes look Yum-O!

BTW - I was totally with you on what you "might have" done with that cream cheese frosting! It's good to be prepared! =)

Happy Birthday to Tyler!