Sunday, July 31, 2011

Hat Chat

Tomorrow my four-year-old daughter begins her three-week, daily, all-morning, kindergarten-preparedness program at the elementary school. To tell you the truth, I'm more concerned about the need to leave my house -- dressed and fully groomed, and with two dressed and fully groomed children in tow -- by 8:15 a.m. every day than I am about leaving Genevieve at the school. After all, we went to the Open House last Thursday evening, and we had to drag her away when it was time to go. (The fact that the hired teachers for this particular program are not strangers but rather her preschool teacher and her older sister's beloved first-grade teacher from last year -- the kid-friendliest, most comforting, and least intimidating people one could ever choose -- helped a lot.) But it's been seven weeks since I've had to leave my house that early in the morning.

Genevieve's birthday is in two weeks. For months she'd been saying she wanted a "Cat in the Hat" birthday party. She watches that cartoon on PBS Kids every morning, and leave it to Genevieve to fall head over heels not for some cute little animal cartoon or anything sweet and cuddly, but a loony tune like the Cat in the Hat.

For a long time I assumed there wasn't any such thing as a Cat in the Hat birthday party; that you can't just walk into Target and wish for any random thing you like and have birthday party supplies appear in that theme. I mean, Dora, Tinkerbell, the Disney Princesses? Of course. But Dr. Seuss? He's great and all, but I've never seen any paper plates with his drawings on them.

You may now have a great laugh at my expense.

You have to understand: I do not go into malls, party supply stores, or large craft emporiums.

I also am not a huge fan of planning kids' birthday parties. I prefer to put them out of my mind, do nothing, and then about a week or so beforehand, go to the Target birthday party aisle and pick up some Fairies plates, napkins, and favor bags. I am a bit of a birthday party underachiever, truth be told.

Genevieve kept insisting on a homemade Cat in the Hat cake. I figured this was a pipe dream and that by August we'd have moved on to a Strawberry Shortcake theme, or something else equally amenable to underachievement in the cake-baking department. (I do insist on homemade cakes and homemade buttercream icing, but I'm not one of those moms who knows how to make cakes shaped like anything other than a cake, decorate giant confections with marzipan made to look like the ocean or a bed of flowers, or somehow insert an impressive surprise into the center of the cake, only to be revealed upon cutting.)

But not that long ago, I idly Googled "Cat in the Hat birthday party" and discovered that OF COURSE THERE IS SUCH A THING AS A CAT IN THE HAT BIRTHDAY CAKE.



Anonymous said...

I was just at Target today and saw a few Cat in the Hat things in the dollar bin area and a few papery things near office supplies. I hope Thing #1 and Thing #2 don't crash the party! :) --Sara

Karen said...

I think I would like a cat in the hat birthday party. That sounds quite fantastic.

Rita said...

I have never made a child's bday cake from scratch.

And now i feel inferior.