Decide that only handmade invitations, shaped like trains, that involve paper punches, Xyron machines and countless trips to Paper Source, will do for your little man.
Scrap the first version of the invitation and start over on “easier version” that only requires cutting paper in square shapes. And paper punches, and Xyron machines, naturally.
Add every kid at My Gym to the invite list for the party, and then allow people to be lax about R.S.V.P.ing. Buy a ton of party favors just in case extra kids show up.
Decide that normal, store-bought Thomas the Tank Engine decorations will not be good enough. Set about constructing picnic-table sized versions of Thomas, Percy, and James out of tri-fold presentation boards.
Decide that a normal, store-bought cake will not be good enough. Set about creating Thomas the Tank Engine-shaped cake. No, not a cake with a picture of Thomas the Tank Engine. A cake *in the shape of* Thomas the Tank Engine.
Set about carving Thomas’ face out of fondant.
Realize you need three colors of fondant to correctly execute Thomas’ face.
Drive to “wholesale district” of Los Angeles (located directly adjacent to Skid Row–yes, the Skid Row, it even shows it on Google maps) to buy cake supplies, including “paste” food coloring, because liquid will make fondant too runny.
Successfully execute Thomas the Tank Engine face out of fondant! Fight urge to show Mini before birthday party, because a disembodied cake head of his hero will just freak him out, no matter how proud of it you are.
Realize that the wedding cake you adored–still adore, in fact–that cost $1000, you are now 100% qualified to make for yourself, for less than this Thomas the Tank Engine cake is going to cost when all is said and done.
Rationalize that this new talent at cake decorating will be used for years to come! even if only once a year, just like the KitchenAid stand mixer you bought at this exact time last year.
Realize that Mini’s actual birthday is Thursday, and so therefore he needs another, non-party cake, for the at-home celebration.
Go to store, AGAIN, for unsalted butter.
Wonder why there is so much damn buttermilk in cake recipes.
Remember that two years ago you were sucking down a pitocin cocktail with an epidural chaser, and figure this isn’t so bad, after all.