Ancient History

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This was Beatrix’s birthday cake, which violated every snobby and pretentious cell in my body. I made it myself.


When I asked her what kind of birthday cake she wanted, she answered with a list that made my eyes cross and my veins run dry: Dora, The Disney Princesses, everyone from Sesame Street, the cast of Yo Gabba Gabba. Plus?

It had to be chockit cake.


Yes, she is a very self-aware toddler who watches too much TV, but also has five older siblings to teach her about these creatures. And Cinderella is certainly a creature. She’s seen her personal dream team in books, on plastic cups, in the bedrooms and in the playroom. Flip over any Little Golden Book and you’ll see Mickey Mouse cavorting right next to the Poky Little Puppy, Tootle, a counting kitten, Ernie, and Bugs Bunny. Oh, to be the lawyer who worked out the licensing agreements for that art project…


When you are the youngest of six, there is no waiting period before being clobbered by Characters. At a week old, she had an armload of Thomas and Friends paraded in front of her face, with commentary and the complete history of the island of Sodor all narrated by Tommy. According to the boys, Gordon was her favorite. It was clear by the way she hiccuped as he passed. I never pegged her for a Gordonite, though. He is brusque and a bit crusty. She is more like sweet Percy.

Aidan’s room is still haunted by stray Princesses. Sleeping Beauty perches on top of her digital alarm clock. Beatrix noticed. She loved. She learned the word “Princess!” and now appreciates ball gowns more than Scarlett O’Hara.


Because I wanted to grant her wish, I found cake toppers for most of the characters. They cluttered the top of the chocolate cake just enough to hide my inept lettering. I couldn’t find Yo Gabba Gabba characters, so I settled for buying her the stuffed representations and gave them to her as a separate gift. Otherwise?

Everybody showed up to party on her cake. They didn’t necessarily match. The scale was all wrong. Dora towered above Big Bird, and the diminutive Princesses got a little lost.


But she loved it.

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