Sunday, February 7, 2010

Out of my Element

Well, it's finally over. To be honest with you, I didn't think I'd survive. What I experienced this past weekend ranked right up there with the likes of my wedding day, buying our house or having our first child. What caused such angst you may ask? Well you see it was my daughter's first birthday party where we let her have a couple of friends over - eeeks!!! Now, I know what you're saying, "Really, that's all it was? Huh, that's nothing!" But before you pass judgment on me, hear me out.

Even though I'm at home not bringing home the bacon, I'm still a guy. This means that guy rules apply. For instance, I would think that in most households, the wife plans the party, sorts out the location of the festivities, bakes the cake (or maybe she orders it from Sams or something) and basically makes sure things are set up correctly. You know, so nobody goes home with their feelings hurt because they didn't get a party-favor or a juice pouch. The Dad just kicks back and acts as chauffer and packing mule.

Now picture our household...Mom works everyday while Dad stays home. Unfortunately, it sounds like a perfect opportunity for some personal growth for Dad. I was a little worried as I staked out my position on this upcoming event. Though, I have to hand it to my wife. She was a real pro. She came up with the theme, handled all the decoration purchases, investigated some party games, made sure my son had a friend over (to hang out with during the girl's day) and she even filled the gift bags. All I had to do was buy some food, play consultant on the party location, perform some driving duties and throw in the obligatory "hey, do you need any help?". So far, so good and I'm really liking the direction this party planning is taking. Meanwhile, she is really sowing some major creative oats and that's when it happened. I innocently asked, "Honey, do you need any more help, because you know, I'm home all day Friday and the kids homework should be done by then?" It was like the words leaving my mouth had a mind of their own. I couldn't believe what I was saying. And her answer finished me off, "Well, if you could bake the cupcakes tomorrow while I'm at work, that would save me a lot of time."

Cupcakes! Cupcakes! I don't know how to make no stinkin' cupcakes! My face paled. I grew weak in the knees. I quickly recovered from my daze with some excuse like, "what are cupcakes?" or "Gee sweetey, that sounds pretty hard to me. Maybe we should just try to create cold fusion instead!". My wife being the intelligent woman she is, saw right through my act. She gave me one of those, you-gotta-be-kidding-me, looks - you know what I'm talking about. Realizing I'd met my match, I agreed to make the cupcakes. She assured me the package had detailed instructions that would help me make the said cupcakes. True to form, they were there and so on Friday, I engineered cupcakes.

This whole enterprise was very stressful to me for many reasons which I'll make clear in the next few blogs entries, but suffice to say, it all followed my wife's master plan - beautifully. The girls went bonkers at Bonkers. The games and crafts were a huge hit and my little daughter had a wonderful birthday party. There was one minor hiccup in the course of the day however. Our oven decided to blow its heating element after the girls had finished their homemade pizzas. This left my son and his friend without the means to make a pizza. I thought this was some kind of sign that I should leave the baking to my wife. Perhaps, the oven is exacting some kind of revenge against me because we broke with traditional birthday baking protocol? I'm not sure exactly what to make of it. But one thing I do know, we have a ton of left over cupcakes from the party and I didn't get any pizza!! So it looks like I'll be breaking out the Blue Bell ice cream and feasting on cupcakes for a while, even if they do have pink icing on them.

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