When I was in law school and about to present my big paper–on the marque and reprisal clause and how it can be revived to deal with Internet piracy (and I am happy to bore anyone on the subject even now)–I had the random idea that it would be funny to hand out bags of Pirate’s Booty and chocolate-gold-wrapped coins to classmates. And because I thought it was funny and because I believe everyone thinks better of anything while they’re eating (especially in a three hour afternoon seminar), I put the snacks at every place in the seminar room. I gave my presentation, snacks were consumed, and that was that. I think I got an A, but I’m not pulling out my transcript to check.

Afterward, a classmate, a woman whose name I can’t remember now (and I don’t know where my facebooks are), who was a year ahead of me, said to me, “You’re going to be a great mom.”

I laughed, because being a parent was not on my radar, it was a complete non-sequitur, and I was pretty sure I’d suck as a parent. “Why?”

“Because you think of these things,” she said, referencing the snacks.

I put it out of my head. I knew a lot of about the marque and reprisal clause, but I didn’t see the connection between snacks and parenting. I didn’t have a good mother and my mother didn’t have a good mother, so I read a lot of books and had a panic attack when I learned I was going to have a daughter…and then I read more books–I even read Queen Bees and Wannabes when pH was 2, because I wanted to read ahead. I’m still reading the books.

And through the years, I have thought of things to do for pH and sometimes they’re appreciated and sometimes they’re not, and that’s about what I expected. Although it sometimes stings, I don’t take it personally, because, well, mothers and daughters. Plus: I am not a crafty mom. (In fact, I hate crafting. I don’t own a hot glue gun. My husband can use the sewing machine better than I. I don’t even like cooking, which is why I am on a first-name basis with the local sushi chef and waitresses…and lay in a huge store of Nutrigrain bars, miso soup, and instant oatmeal.)

But pH loves Minecraft. I decided to do a Minecraft cake. Then I decided I would do a Minecraft cake that actually looks like Minecraft (not like the white-and-red Minecraft cake, because I had a fondant sourcing issue).

Yesterday we made the chocolate and blue rice crispies, and today I killed myself making a mountains out of blocks of chocolate rice crispies (and blue rice crispies for water) and then disaster struck. The green frosting. I couldn’t find the piping bag. I had frosting, dye, even the right damned tip to make something look like grass. I went to the store, couldn’t find one, and settled on a cupcake decorating frosting bag of the same brand of the tip.

Which were not compatible.

I made do. At the end I took one look at the thing, tried to rake it the green into points with a fork (it didn’t work), stuck some green sprinkles on it, consoled myself that because I was not a professional and it wasn’t technically cake, no one would put it on cakewrecks.com, and I went onto the next thing. (The downstairs–you know, the part guests go to–is a disaster area.)

While I was cleaning (and seriously trying not to cry, all over a stupid non-cake, the fact I have to take pH to lessons, then make the dinner she wanted–Kraft Mac and Cheese, I kid you not, but since we’re having people over I can’t leave it at that so I ran to the store for alcohol and things to, at least, make a salad), pH came into the kitchen, gasped and said, “Mama, it’s beautiful! It’s perfect! It looks just like Minecraft!” She gave me a huge hug.

I remembered my classmate, and decided she was kind of right. I’m not a great mom; I’m passing fair, maybe. But I have a great daughter.



*Yes, I know it’s supposed to be the first, but I’m an American and my kid got a better day.