Our home baked robot cupcakes originally destined for a small party at preschool

You know me, I’m generally well prepared. Birthday cake ingredients a fortnight ahead… Goodies bag reconnaissance a month in advance. Themes developed. But when the best laid plans go up in a major fever, it’s fun to see how successfully you can switch gears. Such has been the case over the past 60 hours.

We were to share a birthday party at school, so after delivering our share of snacks (including last minute alternate goodie bags — Hallmark’s bottom line is happy), I ricocheted through a series of meetings and then we were off to the doctor. Diagnosis: viral infection. Certainly no partying in store.

But armed with a few pre-birthday robot cupcakes, train cake, presents and Grammy, we’ve pulled off a really enjoyable birthday celebration. “Do you know I’ve been in pajamas *all day*!” Calvin observed late this afternoon. That was after round one of opening South African presents and a long conversation with his Bobo and Uncle; emersing ourselves in the world of author Graeme Base (thanks Grammy); baking a train cake; and a nap. Then it was time to decorate the cake. Chocolate icing served to adhere the Smarties and sprinkles, followed by candles and jovial singing of ‘Happy Birthday to you.’

We decorate the chocolate train cake with Smarties, sprinkles and four candles

When I compare this with last year’s wails of disappointment (“That’s *not* the right cake!” and “Don’t sing to me!”), this laid back, participative party was thoroughly enjoyable. Round 2 of presents from Pop and Carol — a baseball glove, ball and batters gloves — inspired us to venture into the park in the dying light of the day and try them out.

Calvin’s fever seems to have broken and we look forward to venturing out tomorrow. Tuesday will probably be a chance to revive a party with friends at preschool — a second train cake seems to be the reigning suggestion. But all in all, we’ve rung in Calvin’s new year in a positive fashion.

Click here to see the photoset from Calvin’s 4th birthday.

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