june cleaver

Down with domesticity!

I have complained about this before, but I am not super domestic. In my head I am this:

Makeup! Apron! Brushed hair! Spatula! Sass!

In reality I won this trophy last year:

Friday Night Pints Commitment Award of Excellence Winner, 2010

Every so often I get ambitious though and I am going to turn it all around. In my daydreams I plan parties and make magnificent cakes and everyone will be dressed in clean, ironed clothes every day.

This time I focused on the cakes. On a whim I signed up for a cake decorating course, convinced I was probably going to be asked to be the instructor. I was going to spend my nights practicing and making shit from scratch. It turned out to beĀ  a mompetition over who could make the best pink icing. I hate pink, so I lost. I was the one squirreled away in the corner focusing on my piping technique, ladies. Anyone can achieve neon orange icing. Anyone.

I ended up making this.

Happy Campers! (cakecentral.com)

Cute right? Except I totally didn’t make it. I made this instead:

Avant garde camping cake. Rustic, even.

Yes, those are crumbs in the crappy, uneven icing. And the trees I made were heavily depredated by a unicorn.

Distinct branch breakage

Surveillance shot of unicorn fleeing the scene

I had to quit halfway through finishing the cake and skipped the class because we are going camping and I needed to pack and we have house guests and I was really tired and SO MANY EXCUSES. I really could go on forever, but the truth is that I didn’t want to hear the instructor congratulate all the other novice decorators for their gorgeous flowery cupcake designs and charming colour schemes while I was busy trying to make realistic rocks out of grey buttercream. It was so hot in there, you guys, I wanted to stab everything with my piping bag.

Anyway, I had a revelation as my boys devoured the cake. Maybe I am just trying to justify my laziness, but I really don’t think they care if I am a domestic genius. And I can raise them not to care. And their future wives will thank me for lowering their expectations. And I can train them to do domestic stuff for me, which their future wives will also thank me for. I just figured out how to be the best mother in law ever. Best mom went out the window some time ago.

I had a similar thought when my husband turned down boxes of nostalgia that his parents were throwing away. It never occurred to me that I could do the same. When my mother cleaned out her basement and dropped off every single piece of paper that I ever wrote on until the age of 18, I put it all in my basement in case I ever needed to remember how angsty I was when I was 13 (Hint: pretty angsty). It takes up space in my life. And every three years I have an argument with my husband about it. I don’t have to do this to my kids! I don’t have to scrapbook. I don’t have to finish those baby books. I probably will fill them out with the wrong information and crusty advice for them so they’ll have something to remember me by after they shove me in the cheapest nursing home. But I don’t have to; they won’t be upset if I don’t! I’ll show them my boxes full of depressive mournful teenage meanderings and they will thank me for not forcing the same on them. Then we’ll have a bonfire with all those heaps of paper and toast my parenting skills. Bring your marshmallows.

So fuck it. I was totally right to stay home and have dinner with my boys tonight instead of cake class. Beets are better for you than cake and sanctimonious crafters anyway.

You know, maybe I do need a hobby.

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