Okay, so remember how I mentioned on my UBP '10 post that I was going to tell you how to make a super awesome party cake today? I lied. Well, not so much lied as failed all over the place. My cake was one giant, massive, epic FAIL. This normally does not happen to me-I'm a pretty adept baker and I know how to compensate for mistakes-but this cake was so truly awful and gruesome that I cannot even post a picture of it for fear that you would lose all respect for any recipe I post from this day forward.
Let's just suffice to say that while it was technically edible, it certainly didn't look it.
So today instead of writing about how to make a cake I'm going to tell you a secret of Mom-ness that I have learned over the years. It is cool to bake cakes from scratch, but it is JUST as cool to buy them. No kid on the planet is going to care if the chocolate they are hoovering came out of your oven or out of Isle 5-a sugar rush is a sugar rush and the cake provided is just a means to that tiny junkie's end. Your kids will still love you if you bought their cake and their friends will thank you for it and continue spinning around until they puke it back up (hopefully in the car on the way home).
It's just not always feasible to lovingly make your child's cake from the ground up. You have kids-you have things to do that are far more important than baking a cake! Not to mention that most moms have other jobs, hobbies, and interests. Maybe you even just wanted to catch a couple extra moments of sleep-trust me it's totally worth getting a store bought cake. Besides, even 'domestic-er-than-thou' moms don't make it really from scratch. I don't know a single person who mortar and pestles their own wheat-we all get our cakes from the grocery store, the only difference is the degree of completion you purchase it in...and I say if you're short on time but have a bit of extra money spring the five bucks and buy a cake that's 100% finished rather than hauling it home in flour form.
I promise you, the only people who care about whether you made it or bought it are going to be you, Competitive Mom (but seriously-who cares what she thinks?), and your in laws-but don't worry I have the world's best come back for critics. When they ask you if you made it tell them in your chipperest voice "Yep-I bought it myself!" Hey, it made my MIL momentarily speechless-and that is a rare (and precious) thing.
So, in conclusion, learn from my example my good friends-you can be a good mom and still know that tragicomic epic cake FAILs are easily fixed by a little bit of magic (and a little bit of cash spent) in the local bakery.