"I want an Elsa cake." This was the decision of an almost-four-year-old who changes her mind (and clothes and underpants) like ... well, like she changes her underpants.
That's Elsa as in the character from the movie Frozen.
Oh, no problem, let me just pull that one out of my birthday cake-baking repertoire, which includes such classics as the lolly cake shaped like a "1", the packet-mix cake covered in M&Ms because I was pregnant and couldn't be bothered and she wasn't going to remember it anyway, and the Dora cake we paid someone else to make last year.
So the least Pinteresty mum around turned to Pinterest and found a cake that looked "doable" - ish: It was basically a doll with its legs pulled off - perfect, really, because our Elsa doll was taken to day care and returned with no legs - shoved in a cake and covered in some swirls of icing. Sure, I can do icing circles for the first time.
I enlisted a friend who actually puts in effort for her kids' birthdays to come and help.
We (she) made a massive bowl of butter icing then devised a highly-complicated mathematical formula to create layers of light-to-dark swirls. It took half a day.
Excited about the big reveal, I picked up the little lady from daycare:
"But Muuummma. I wanted an ANNA one." (Anna is Elsa's sister in the movie).
I'M SORRY, WHAAAAAAT?!
The next day was party day. After months of asking for a bike, she awoke to find the coolest little bike in the history of the world:
"It's not PURPLE, like I SAID," she hissed, an expression of utter disgust beneath bed hair and blonde ringlets.
AND THEY MADE SMACKING ILLEGAL!
The $8 Elsa dress I ordered from Aliexpress (also totally awesome, by the way) was "not the Anna one". Of COURSE, the Anna one was still two weeks away. There is no pleasing a four-year-old girl.
I text my mum to say sorry. Sorry for everything. Sorry for being an ungrateful little toad who didn't appreciate anything.
She replied: "LOL so funny. Oh dear. Part of being a parent." So resigned. Her spirit clearly broke 36 years ago when she had me.
The party was fun, the cake was a hit. The birthday girl was happy, eventually, and I came around too (mostly). An espresso martini at 11am will do that to you.