Today is Ethan’s birthday.

Guess how old he is?

I’ll give you a hint.

Picture 12673 copy
You’re all “um… he’s a squiggly line and a fucked up circle years old?”

And I’m all “Ha! Ha! SO FUNNY!  He’s 10.”

Ten years old.


Every year, I bring some kind of treat to his class on his birthday so that his classmates can share in his birthday celebration. And that treat is always store bought cupcakes. I always have great intentions of baking something really special, but I am not one of those mothers to which those kinds of things come easily.

You know which moms that I’m talking about– the ones who can turn a fart bubble into a beeYOOtiful chocolate cupcake with twirling ballerinas on top. You probably ARE one of those moms.  I am, in fact, the complete opposite of those moms.

I am The Mom who stresses out for weeks before every cupcake occasion because I want my cupcakes to be totally awesome, but I know deep down in my heart that no matter how hard I try, they will never be as good as The Mom who turned her fart into a singing cupcake. So, I usually cry a lot the night before because “I’ve failed as mother. I’M A FAIIIIIILUUURRE” and go buy a few dozen cupcakes from Costco instead.

Today was different though. Today, I had this freaking Rad with a capital R idea. “I’ll buy these cute little heart shaped tin foil cups, and I will put pre packaged cookie dough inside of them and I will bake them, and then I will frost them and THEN! I will carefully write the number “10” on each and every one of them to symbolize 10 years of life!”

Honestly? Those treats were not hard to make and yet by the time I was done, I was sweating profusely and ready to lay on the floor and die. I wasn’t going to let the kids see me sweat though. When I got to the school, I put my brave face on. I walked over to the benches with my trays of heart shaped cookie cakes and was all “HAPPY BIRTHDAY ETHAN! Who wants a cookie?!”

You should have seen the kids faces. They were really impressed with my cookies. I’m talking seriously impressed. I started to feel better about myself, maybe even a *little* bit proud, but then some kid in a red shirt had to go and ruin it by shouting out “where are the drinks at?” (In a very judgmental tone, I might add.) Oops! Drinks! Riiiiight. Of COURSE I forgot about the drinks. But, in my defense, it’s hard remembering things when you’re trying to make perfect #10’s while your daughter is holding onto your leg, sniffing your butt. (No, Seriously. That’s my daughter’s new thing—sniffing my butt.)

I almost felt like a failure of a mother, until I looked up and saw the smile on my son’s face. He was so happy that I had taken the time to make these little treats for him and his friends. And he didn’t care what they looked like, or that I forgot drinks. (And napkins. Ha ha) All he cared about was that I was there, acknowledging his special day. All he cared about was that I took time out of my day to do something special for him.

I love that kid.

90 thoughts on “Birfday

  1. txSkatemom

    the day of my first son’s 1st birthday I had a total meltdown about two hours before his party. I *swore* that I would be one of Those Moms and make his cake. From scratch. No boxes. No tub of icing. But I ran out of time and freaked out. My mom was visiting from out of town, looked at me, laughed her a$$ off and made me take her to Kroger for a store-bought bakery cake. It was *fine.* He didn’t care. Nobody at the party cared. That day I came to grips with not being one of Them. Mostly.

  2. Rachael

    Happy Birthday, Ethan!
    10 is a great age! Have a great year! 😉
    Those cookie cupcakes look AWESOME!

  3. Beth

    Those cookies are freakin’ AWESOME! And the answer to “Where are the drinks at?” is “At the drinking fountain, turkey-butt.” Okay, I would only call her that last part in my mind. ;^)

  4. Ninotchka

    I think you did a gorgeous job. And 10 is a HUGE deal. Happy Birthday to your sweet boy and happy BIRTHday to you, Momma! Enjoy!

  5. Rachel May

    OK – The cookie-in-cupcake-cups is BRILL-YUNT. I’m stealing that for next year.
    I’ve always (all two years) made Jet’s birthday cakes, but they all involved boxes and tubs. No shame in that. I blogged about them here, as well as this year’s plans.
    Happy, happy birthday, Ethan!!!

  6. Monet (aka birdsboss)

    The Mom who turned her fart into a singing cupcake….hahahahaha…hahaha….sigh….hahahaha…..sighhhhhhhhh…i wish i was that mom…lol
    I think you rocked the cookie cakes!!!!
    Happy Birthday Ethan!!!!

  7. Lindy

    Remember your 10th birthday? Did your mom bring anything to your school? I think you ROCK!! I’ll bet his class does too. For a sooo not one of ‘THOSE MOTHERS’ may i remind you how happy you made a WHOLE ROOM FULL OF KIDS!

  8. Valette

    While Those Mothers might be able to fart out some beautiful creation with rainbows and butterflies, you must remember that ten year olds? Don’t care. Birthday sugar = bestest mom on the block. Seriously.
    As to the cupcake dilemma, I’ve found (at functions were everyone was supposed to bring a dozen cupcakes) that while kids don’t care because sugar = sugar = yummers, sprinkles are the first ones to go. Which means I don’t have to figure out how to transport any home. Win-Win!

  9. DeannaBanana

    “You’re all “um… he’s a squiggly line and a fucked up circle years old?””
    That is seriously the funniest thing ever. Funnier, even, than the fart-made singing cupcakes.
    Girl, you completely crack my shit up.
    Happy Birthday, Ethan!

  10. Jessica

    My son (who will be 10 in September) used to sniff my butt after I farted. No joke, if I tooted, he would race over and sniff… it didn’t stop until just before he turned 8.

  11. elizabeth

    Happy Birthday, Ethan!!!!!!!!!!
    Aww – you rock!
    My 6yo is seriously into butt sniffing lately too, AND telling me that something smells like *vagina* – NICE! 😛

  12. Jan

    You are UNBELIEVABLE. All the crap you have going on in your life and you take the time to make cookies for your son’s birthday and take them to his class. Anytime you feel bad about yourself, take a look at that picture of the cookies you made for him. And remember how really fabulous you are.

  13. Lena

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY ETHAN!! I know you already know it, but your mama hearts you big time!
    With like BIG X’s and O’s like this: XXXXOOOO.

  14. Jessica

    1) Happy Birthday!
    2) Those look so yummy… I wish I could have one!
    3) You are allowed to bring in HOMEMADE treats?? We can’t have homemade treats… ours has to be store bought AND still sealed!

  15. Katie

    Awesome cookies! I’m so jealous because even though I could possibly be one of “those Moms”, I can’t because the school won’t allow sweets on birthdays. Stupid health and obesity issues. So I have to send in pencils. How boring…
    Happy 10th birthday Ethan!

  16. Paula

    Wait. Your kids are still in school? Mine has been out for weeks! What kind of schedule do you have?
    BTW, love the lovemade cupcakes. You done good.

  17. kheatherg

    The rule in our home is:
    “If it’s baked, Its bought or brought”
    This momma cant bake porkchops, much less cookies, cakes or any of the other good shit!

  18. Gabby

    Happy Birthday Ethan!!!
    I have a 10 year son as well and let me tell you he is also very sweet and very smart and he plays BASKETBALL!!!
    Great Job on the treats, they look fantastic. HE will remember these moments for life. Belive me he will. I stil remember when my mom would bake me a cake for every single birthday that I had. She still does it and I am almost 30.
    Once again, great job done.

  19. Sonia

    I have always done the kids’ ages on cupcakes too!! Here I thought I was so original…not so much.
    Happy birthday big number 10!

  20. Stephanie

    Happy (belated) Birthday Ethan!
    Those cookies look gooooooood… wanna make me some for my next birthday? You don’t have to draw the numbers, though, b/c I think a 2 and an 8 would be kinda tough to do in icing. But you have do a few months to practice. 🙂

  21. Helen

    HA! You are so clever, CUTE birthday treat but I think I might be even MORE clever because guess what….I managed to have 5 of my 6 kids right in the middle of the summer break so never had to do anything for classmates! YEAY! I love to see that look kids give when you do something that makes them giddy with appreciation,sounds like you scored with this one! And 10….way grown up.

  22. angie

    Don’t feel all lonely in the “forgetting drinks for the party” category. I did that just this past December for my 8 year old’s party at school. Our school won’t allow homemade treats to be brought in (whatever!), so I didn’t even have the stress of making something myself to blame.
    I think your cookie-cakes rock! And Happy Belated Birthday to Ethan!

  23. Amy

    You rock Y… Your kids are lucky to have you as a mom.
    Have to buy store bought at our school for allergy reasons. But I always buy cookies for my daughter to take to school.

  24. Bronwen

    Those are amazing cookies! My birthday’s in 6 days – can you be my Mommy?
    I wanted to be Martha, too, but honestly? The kids don’t care. I just signed up at one of those huge party places for Miss Peanut’s birthday. I don’t have to cook, bake, or clean my house. Entertainment’s taken care of. The only thing I have to worry about is goody bags (and the colossal bill!). Lazy much? Yeah, that’s me.

  25. Stacey

    10 is huge. Tomorrow, my daughter will be 13, and then I’ll Officially be the Mother of a TEENAGER. Lord, help me!
    Psst… the secret is to have summer babies like I did, and you never ever have to impress school. 🙂

  26. Tammy

    If you really need to feel better about your mothering skills, come on over and read my post for today. Seriously. Store bought cookie-cakes are a treat!!!

  27. Manic Mom

    I was guessing he turned one, you just put a zero on them first and they’re all backwards.
    Cracked up out loud at this:
    um… he’s a squiggly line and a fucked up circle years old

  28. Margie

    They are YUMMY looking!
    You are lucky! My school banned cupcakes – homemade or store bought. NCLB has a wellness policy and our district takes it over the top. We are not allowed to use M & M’s for math, hand out a skittle or allow parents to provide cupcakes for birthdays! Talk about setting kids up to have food issues! They can bring in pencils or books.
    I am so jealous that your school allows children to be CHILDREN! And I am jealous that I didn’t get to eat a cookie/cupcake! You rock, Mama!!!

  29. gladcow

    Aw, my youngest shares Ethan’s birthday! She’s 6 now *weeps*
    The birthday treat thing is a blessing and a curse, is it not? But ultimately, the kid is happy even if the classmates are picky :p

  30. marjorie

    I once made cupcakes for a school bake sale and the whole batch was horrible. Some of them sank, some burned, and some sank AND burned. I felt like a complete failure. And then there was that birthday cake where I flavoured the icing with peppermint and the kids thought it was toothpaste and wouldn’t eat it (except my son who was 2 and didn’t know any better.) Then I learned that there are bakeries and the love can be in store bought stuff too. Congrats to you for making your son such a special treat. And poo on the kid who asked for drinks. The nerve.

  31. kirsten

    Breaking out in hives here because I can turn a fart bubble into….hmmm, a stinkier fart bubble? What am I going to do when they start school!! Bah

  32. nila

    You are totally one of those moms. No wonder the kid wants to sniff your ass. You must fart cupcakes.
    Your post was so touching.

  33. Y

    HAHA. That was funny.
    I’m not still at basketball, but! I have been busy screaming at insurance adjusters. I will post it this weekend.

  34. Vee

    I just made myself a banana cake for my birthday and it was GOOD!
    I never thought to put cookie dough in cupcake tins! Genius!

  35. Kerri Roberts

    Your post was cracking me up! I loved your cookies, they looked great and I’m sure they tasted great too. Little things make a difference and it sounds like you did something really big and brought joy to your son. And in addition, you made the rest of us feel normal too. Thank you!
    On another note…I’m reaching out to talk to parents about the Maya & Miguel rogram as part of a marketing project I’m working on with Scholastic. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Maya & Miguel, a show on PBS in the afternoons — — that emphasizes cultural diversity and language learning.
    I found your post and thought I’d reach out to say hello and ask if you’d like to receive a free Maya & Miguel DVD. If you’d like to receive the DVD just email me at Kerri at with your address and I’ll have it shipped it out to you.
    If you do choose to blog about Maya & Miguel show or episodes on the DVD, please make it clear how you received the information. Our goal is to be open and honest with everyone we reach.
    Kerri Roberts, BoldMouth

  36. Mom101

    You’re an amazing mom. Anyone can make some perfect plastic-looking thing but those cupckaes were clearly made with love.
    My kid would get a Poptart with a magic marker 10 on it on her birthday, that’s all I’ll say about that.

  37. Lady Rose

    My little girl just turned 11 — I have no idea where the times go!!!!! I can totally relate to the whole cupcake thing — I got over feeling bad that I don’t have time to bake and if I did well they’d be ok but the store bought ones are just fine (probably better). I do special things for my Angelgirl in other ways. Besides it is the quality time we spend with our kids that they will remember – not the cupcakes. Health and Happiness, Lady Rose

  38. Jamie

    They only let us bring the store bought ones to school! My daughter’s birthday is in the summer and I go to work at 5 am… so she got store bought cookies she could take on the bus for the last day of school. I did, however, send out pink postcards to all the girls in class requesting address and phone numbers for playdates and birthday invites… so I guess that counts for something! Good job mommy!

  39. Nicole

    Those are great, I just love them and all that matters is your kid 🙂
    I decided to be the kind of mom who made homemade stuff that totally look like someone tried hard but has very little talent. Of course preschoolers are pretty easy to impress, we’ll just be starting kindergarten this year. Anyone who disses my attempts doesn’t get to eat the chocolately goodness. I bought those in star shapes for a star wars party – get it? They barely resembled stars after I took the foil off and frosted them.

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  41. bethany actually

    Uh-oh, the spammers have been here.
    But hey, double digits! Happy birthday, Ethan!
    And Y, even though I am one of *those* moms who makes everything from scratch, I do it because I LOVE to do it and think it’s worth it. Would I turn my nose up at another mom’s store-bought cookies or cake? Heck no. Thoughtful baking is thoughtful baking, no matter what kitchen it comes from!

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