It was the morning of my son's third birthday party and chaos ensued. My husband had just left for Costco as I scurried around the house tidying up before 40 of our closest family and friends crowded our house. The elbow and shoulder room would be sparse to say the least so all preparation needed to happen NOW. Not a moment to waste.
As I vacuumed the house and shoved everything in a space as if it belonged there, the birthday boy followed me around asking if it was time for his party yet.
"No sweetie, remember mommy said she needs to clean and then we'll take a bath and get you all ready for your big day."
Every time the same sentence left my mouth, I thought he would remember it since it had only been three minutes since the last time he asked. I replayed his favorite Yo Gabba Gabba episode but nothing was going to deter this kid from the curiosity of his third birthday party.
As I finished setting up, my younger sister let me know she was going to hop in the shower. All I could think about was how much time I DIDN'T have before people would start showing up.
Oh shoot, I thought. Did I remember to buy candles? As my mind raced, I recalled leaving the grocery bag from birthday supplies in my bedroom. My eyes peered over and scanned the room. My son was walking around on his tiptoes looking at the counter where his birthday cake sat. His hands behind his back pulled tight while his little sausage fingers restlessly played with the others.
He's fine, I thought. "Mommy's going to run to her bedroom to see if I bought birthday candles, ok?"
"Yea, mommy! I want candles!"
Perfect, I thought.The scenario in the back of my mind where he pulls the cake off the counter and it lands face down on our cream colored carpet was quickly dissipating due to his comprehension of us needing candles in order to sing to him and THEN eat his cake.
As I turned around, I raced around the corner and down the hallway. I could hear the shower going, but couldn't find the grocery bag anywhere. "Hurry up," I thought, "your toddler is alone with his birthday cake."
As I took one last sweep under the bed, I heard a sound. It was the sound of a soft weight falling from about a 3ft. height onto a cream colored fabric. I knew what it was, but with the shower going and my sheer denial. I didn't want to believe it. That is until I heard the cries and moans of my toddler.
I cursed the F-word under my breath until it came out in a loud shrill once I saw my toddler standing two inches deep in an upside down birthday cake. It was as if I'd just come across a murder scene. I went numb, and froze. My poor kid stood there with tears in his eyes as I ran to my sister in the shower to tell her I needed her help. But not in a normal, "hey can I get some help?" kind of way. Nope. It was one of those, "OMG (BLEEP BLEEP BLEEP BUBLEEP)" kind of pleas for help.
Before cleaning up what actually looked like a murder scene on my cream carpet due to the red frosting, I called my husband in a panic asking him to pick up another cake. His reaction compared to mine would be best described as if I had told him we needed more garlic, which made me feel like a Super Failure instead of a Super Mom.
I bathed my son and tried to do damage control on his emotional trauma. The poor kid thought he ruined his birthday party. As the guilt drilled deeper and deeper into my conscience, I finally found it funny. It was kind of hard not to since my sister had been basically peeing her pants since she ran out of the shower for an upside down birthday cake.
That whole day was a blur. The only thing I remember is constantly referencing a murder scene to the stain of my son's birthday cake. With the help of a rug doctor, the stain came right out as did any negative association to the cake and the party.
If I would have known that life would be fine, and go on after the rise and fall of the birthday cake, I would have laughed a lot harder that day, instead of scare the poop out of my toddler.
I learned a lot that day, like never put a cake where a child can reach it, or above carpet. And if you take anything from this, take this: rip any and all carpet out of your house the moment you find out you're going to be parents.
Alison Chrun is a wife and mother of two who writes about parenting, relationships and self-development on her blog Appetite for Honesty. She's a mental health rehabilitation specialist who is currently receiving her Master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. Find her on Facebook and Twitter.